LaBrose, Potter win primary for county board

Incumbent Barlowe finishes third
May. 07, 2014 @ 08:30 AM

Mike LaBrose and Donnie Potter claimed the Republican nominations for two seats on the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners in Tuesday's primary and will face no Democrats on the November ballot.

LaBrose, an incumbent, comfortably finished first with 3,930 votes. Potter, a former Sawmills town councilman, edged incumbent Chris Barlowe by fewer than 200 votes to take second place, 3,045 to 2,852. Ben Griffin, a former county commissioner making another run after losing his re-election effort in 2012, was a distant fourth with 2,184 votes. Cotton Winkler, who never mounted much of a campaign, trailed the field with 750.

The commissioners' four-year terms don't begin until December, so Barlowe will remain on the board of commissioners until then.

Potter said he will use the time to become more involved in the county and make sure he's up to speed when the time comes.

"It's overwhelmingly exciting -- I can't explain the excitement of being able to win this seat and this election," Potter said. "It's very humbling that citizens came out in the numbers they came out in and elected me."

LaBrose expressed gratitude to the voters.

"I am truly humbled by the outpouring of support from Caldwell County and the trust they have put in me," LaBrose said. "I just pray that I'll be able to continue the good job that I've done for the past four years."

Potter and LaBrose both campaigned on the need for long-term planning at the county level, and throughout the election promised a proactive approach to tackling the county's problems, a platform that apparently resonated with voters that turned out at the polls, some of which had the county commissioners' race on the top of their priority list.

As the News-Topic reported election results online Tuesday night, some readers expressed confusion because until after 10:30 p.m. the website of the State Board of Elections reported incorrect vote totals showing LaBrose and Barlowe finishing first and second. State Board of Elections spokesman Joshua Lawson told the Associated Press that a programing error had caused the initial numbers for precincts reporting to be incorrectly tabulated. The incorrect totals were reported by a variety of news outlets, including some Charlotte TV stations.

An official with the Caldwell County Board of Elections said the first results the county sent to the state took nearly an hour to appear on the state's website.