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GOP Sweep: Incumbents hold on in commissioners' race

Dan McMillan, center, eyes the results from Tuesday's election.

Originally published: Nov. 6, 2012
Last modified: Nov. 6, 2012

Jesse Campbell

The Ashe County Board of Commissioners retained its Republican majority Tuesday night with the re-election of incumbents Gerald Price, Larry Rhodes and Gary Roark in a GOP sweep.

The three-board members gained more votes than their Democratic challengers Dan McMillan — a former county manager — former commissioner Richard Blackburn and Marty Gambill.

The first results of the 2012 Election, one-stop voting, began to trickle in at 7:40 p.m. Pine Swamp became the first precinct to report, six minutes later.

Even early on, it appeared the current board would remain intact.

Rhodes garnered the most votes (7,232), Roark finished with 6,863 votes and Price wrapped up the election with 6,381 votes cast in his favor.

Blackburn came the closest of the democratic trio to upset a member of the board, as he finished fourth with 5,955 votes.

McMillan, who was asked to resign as county manager by the current board in 2011, carefully watched the results unfold on television monitors set up on the third floor of the Ashe County Courthouse as each of the 17 precincts reported.

“I appreciate all of the people who voted for me and it looks like we had a good turnout,” said McMillan once defeat became apparent. “That's what really counts, people getting out (to vote) no matter what it is. But I am certainly sorry.”

Family members, too, joined Roark, as he watched the final votes come in.

“I appreciate all of the support throughout the county and for the upcoming years, I will keep trying to do my best and continue to do what I'm doing,” said Roark on his reelection.

In looking at what challenges the county will be facing in the coming years, Roark said commissioners will be tasked with keeping property taxes at 40 cent per $100 valuation and rising infrastructural needs.

Roark also referred to the significance of the board maintaining a commanding majority.

“If we can't get anything done, we have no one to blame but ourselves,” said Roark.

For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.