3 incumbents retain seats on county board

Published 10:42 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Republican newcomer Jerry Evans is in and incumbent Democrat Robert Belcher was voted out in Tuesday’s race for Beaufort County Board of Commissioners.

Incumbents Gary Brinn, Jerry Langley and Hood Richardson will retain their seats. Langley, a Democrat, serves as chairman of board; Brinn and Richardson are Republicans.

Seven candidates were vying for four seats on the board: Belcher, Brinn, Derik Davis, Evans, Langley and Greg Satterthwaite, who is currently chairman of the Town of Belhaven’s Board of Aldermen.

Richardson, who has served on the board for 20 years, was the top votegetter with 4,661 votes, followed by Langley with 4,481. Evans won 3,313 of votes, with Brinn rounding out the top four with 3,271 votes. Davis came in a close fifth with 3,218 votes, followed by Belcher with 2,911 and Satterthwaite with 1,236.

Brinn, who has won a second term in office, said he was grateful to the Beaufort County voters.

“It’s just an amazing thing to happen because two months ago, I didn’t think I had a chance to win, and I went out and I campaigned hard and I worked hard and just to pull this win out at the very last moment — it was an amazing thing,” Brinn said. “I’m just thankful for the people of Beaufort County that decided to put me back in office.”

Evans said he’s excited to be elected to the board and will be focused on learning the process of county government before working on growth in Beaufort County, finding ways to promote small business and businesses’ close ties with Beaufort County Community College.

“I want to start building from that. I want to start small and build upwards,” Evans said.

He said the campaign has been an emotional ride that paid off Tuesday.

“I’m very excited. A lot of hard work, but I’m just so tickled to death about the support from all the people here in Beaufort County,” he said.

“We have worked really, really, really hard, sun up to sun down. … My wife, Brenda — I can’t tell you how much she’s done. I couldn’t have done it without her, I’ll tell you that,” Evans said. “I spoke from the heart, and I really want to see Beaufort County grow. I know it’s going to be tough, but I know we can work together.”

At total of 23,091 votes were cast for Beaufort County commissioners. Limited voting applies to the commissioners’ election, which means each voter gets one vote for their choice of commissioner. The results of all races are preliminary and will not be officially confirmed until Nov. 18.