And maybe they can, because he did — in convincing fashion.
“I just think the key was number one, I had a lot of help and a lot of support,” said Rogers. “It was unlike anything that I ever imagined — I never realized I had the support I did in this community until the day I decided to run.”
Rogers surpassed all other candidates to lead vote totals in the four-way race, and he is eager to begin work.
“Day one, I’m probably going to start working with the other commissioners on the top issues I’ve been mentioning since day one — creating jobs and working with our educational folks,” he said.
Rogers — a Republican — will in essence be taking over the seat of retiring Democrat Mark Swanger, shifting the balance of power slightly from a 4-1 majority for the Dems to a 3-2 majority.
“I don’t know that it (commission dynamics) will change, but I think it will be a good combination, having two Republicans and three Democrats,” he said. “I feel like we’ll work well together. My whole campaign, I’ve said I want to be a voice for the people of Haywood County, and that’s just what I’m going to do.”
Joining Rogers is fellow Republican Kevin Ensley, who wasn’t far behind Rogers in the polls.
Ensley said he was thankful and humbled to be returned to the commission.
“I think generally when I make a decision, I weigh the facts based on what’s best for the county, and I make a vote that is for the best of the county,” Ensley said. “I think voters recognize that.”
As Ensley resumes his seat on the commission, he to is eager to dig into the very apparent work at hand.
“I think we’ll continue to work on broadband and infrastructure, and make sure the building projects we have are built within budget, and on time,” he said. “That’s important.”
As to departing Chairman Mark Swanger, Ensley was reflective in what Swanger will be leaving behind.”
“I think we’ve all learned — and even Brandon has — that us five commissioners will adhere to the transparency that Swanger’s established,” he said. “I think we’ll continue that.”
Haywood County Board of Commissioners (VOTE FOR 2)
Brandon C. Rogers (R) 17,025
Kevin Ensley (R) 15,966
Steve Brown (D) 10,575
Robin Greene Black (D) 9,685