Two incumbents, former commissioner elected to county board

Published 10:12 pm Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Current Beaufort County Board of Commissioners Chairman Frankie Waters and Commissioner Ed Booth were both re-elected to board Tuesday night, according to unofficial vote totals. Stan Deatherage, former five-term commissioner, won the third seat up for grabs.

Waters and Deatherage are both Republicans; Booth, a Democrat.

The unofficial vote count had Waters with 5,202 votes, with most support from the Belhaven and Bath precincts; Booth, with 5,119 votes, whose vote counts were highest in the Washington precincts; Deatherage, with 3,667 votes, a top vote-getter in Tranter’s Creek; Walker, 2,618 votes; and Dunn, who pulled in 1,881 votes.

All votes counts are unofficial until canvassing is complete. Canvassing begins Nov. 16.

“I’m very surprised I won — just look at the trend,” Booth said after the final precinct — Pantego — reported Tuesday night. Booth referred to heavily Republican vote majorities in the county.

Booth said he was not surprised that Waters was re-elected, but believed fourth-place vote-getter Randy Walker, a fellow Democrat, would have made the cut.

“It was a very unusual race,” Booth said. “You just got to work with what you got, and hopefully, we can, and we will.”

Deatherage, who was also at the Board of the Elections when the final precinct reported, said he was looking forward to getting back on the board to cut wasteful spending and to make “Beaufort County government more nimble and efficient to the benefit of all Beaufort County citizens.”

He credited his successful run to hard work and pushing to find the last vote possible among county residents.

“I don’t pretend to know the minds of Beaufort County citizens. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose,” Deatherage said. “But at least we know I’m taking my experience back on the Board of Commissioners for the next four years.”

Waters, in an interview Wednesday, credited his win with voters being satisfied with the board’s work over the last four years, and not succumbing to negative politics.

“What I kept hearing from people was they were happy with the leadership, and they were happy with what had happened in paramedics and the communications, 911, system. …. And they were very happy with the school resource officers being put in all the schools. And that’s the big things,” Waters said, “I kept telling myself the whole time, ‘You’ve got to be focused every day and forget the negative and know that you’re doing the right thing.'”