MOORESVILLE – Incumbent Republican candidates swept the races during this year’s midterm election, with Vickie Sawyer, John Fraley, James Mallory, Marvin Norman and Gene Houpe being re-elected to office.
The quarter-percent sales tax that would have gone primarily to supporting education was voted down, with nearly 69 percent ballots cast against the measure.
Voter turnout for the county was 53.55 percent, with 65,114 out of 121,595 registered voters casting a ballot, according to the N.C. Board of Elections website.
N.C. Senate District 34
Sawyer, who lives in Mooresville and co-owns Sawyer Insurance and Financial Services in downtown Mooresville, was sworn in as senator for the North Carolina Senate District 44 earlier this year when David Curtis resigned.
Executive Republican Party committees from the three counties currently represented by District 44 – Iredell, Gaston and Lincoln – elected Sawyer to replace Curtis.
But, because of a ruling on North Carolina gerrymandering, many districts in the state – including District 44 – were redrawn.
That meant that, if Sawyer wanted to continue serving as a senator, she had to run for the new District 34 seat this fall.
According to unofficial voting results, Sawyer won the race for the District 34 seat with 43,638 votes, or 67.62 percent of the total votes cast. Democratic challenger Beniah McMiller earned 20,897 votes, or 32.38 percent of the votes cast.
McMiller is a community college instructor in Iredell County.
Sawyer will transition from serving District 44 to serving the new District 34 when the new class of senators is sworn in in January.
In her responses to a Mooresville Citizen election questionnaire, Sawyer said her priorities in her new term would be securing funding for more school resource officers, keeping sales tax dollars in the county and “eliminat(ing) burdensome regulations that make it difficult for our farmers and small businesses to prosper and grow.”
N.C. House District 95
Fraley won the seat for N.C. House District 95 with 22,371 votes, or 64.3 percent of the total votes cast, unofficial results show. Democratic challenger Carla Fassbender earned 12,442 votes, or 35.7 percent of the votes cast.
Fraley has served two terms in the N.C. House of Representatives and is a retired textile executive. Fassbender is an educator in Iredell-Statesville Schools.
In Fraley’s responses to a Mooresville Citizen election questionnaire, he said his priorities if re-elected would be to increase teacher and principal pay, improve transportation infrastructure and continue to develop a qualified and educated workforce.
Iredell County Board of Commissioners
Three seats were up for grabs in the Iredell County Board of Commissioners race, and Mallory, Norman and Houpe were all re-elected to fill them.
Mallory received the most votes – 42,126. Norman was next, with 40,957, and Houpe came in third with 39,781.
Challenger Beth Pardue Kendall – the only Democrat in the race – received 24,523, or 16.64 percent of votes.
After all precincts came in, Mallory said by email that he was “deeply honored” to have the support of Iredell County citizens, “which motivates me to do the very best that we can do as a board to meet our Iredell County's needs, solve problems and take advantage of opportunities for the benefit of our citizens.”
Mallory said the first thing the board will do in his new term will be to “review and refine” strategic objectives to aid departments as the board develops its 2019-20 budgets.
Houpe said he was “humbled by the continued trust and support” from voters.
“I look forward to continuing our efforts to push economic growth and development working with our other elected partners,” Houpe said by email. “We have a wonderful, diverse county with something for everyone.”
In his answers to a Mooresville Citizen election questionnaire, Norman said his priorities would be to improve school safety, increase economic and workforce development and provide future jobs for Iredell County youth.
Citizens had a chance to vote for or against a sales and use tax that would have increased the county sales tax from 6.75 percent to 7 percent.
The increase in sales tax would have provided extra funding to the county’s two school districts, Iredell-Statesville Schools and Mooresville Graded School District, and Mitchell Community College, as well as the county.
The majority of voters – 68.7 percent – voted against the tax, with 43,337 votes, unofficial votes show.
Based on the last three years of historical sales tax data, county officials had expected the extra tax to bring in about $6.6 million annually.