Waters top vote-getter in GOP primaryPublished 11:11pm Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Frankie Waters was the top vote-getter in the Republican primary to choose three nominees to run in the Nov. 4 general election for the three seats open on the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners this election cycle.
Waters, in an interview after vote totals came in Tuesday evening, said he expected to be nominated.
“I knew I’d be in the top three, but I had no idea I’d be No.1. … I have a good team on both sides of the river. I’m extremely pleased with the final numbers,” Waters said.
During his campaign, Waters said, he talked to many people on both sides of the Pamlico River who said they wanted a change on the Board of Commissioners. “Any existing county commissioner, and I’m hearing that for the November election, too,” Waters said.
Waters said he’s trying to appeal to all voters, not just Republicans.
“I think most people are upset with the party system, and I think that’s local, state and federal,” Waters said.
Veteran Republican Commissioner Stan Deatherage came in last in the five-man field, with Don Cox coming in fourth place behind Kidwell by 10 votes. Waters tallied 1,146 votes, Buzzeo garnered 1,097 votes and Kidwell collected 780 votes. Cox received 770 votes, with Deatherage getting 657 votes.
Waters, Ron Buzzeo and Keith Kidwell — the second- and third-place vote-getters, respectively, move on to the general election. They face opposition from Democrats Ed Booth and Robert Cayton. Booth is an incumbent commissioner. Cayton is a former commissioner.
Buzzeo, a political newcomer in Beaufort County, also campaigned on the need for new blood on the Board of Commissioners. During his campaign, Buzzeo said county residents deserve commissioners who can conduct county business in a civil manner and in a way that protects taxpayers. Kidwell, an active member of the Beaufort County Republican Party, ran a campaign that cited his concerns with building a new jail in the county, saying the current Board of Commissioners did not study the issue properly before making a decision on whether a new jail is needed.
Vote totals are unofficial until certified by local boards of elections and the N.C. State Board of Elections. Those certifications will be made later this month.
The Board of Commissioners see at least one of its current members replaced after the Nov. 4 general election. Republican Commissioner Al Klemm is not seeking re-election.