Mark Jones’ comment after the race was brief and to the point.
“The citizens of Jackson County voted Mark Jones, the right Jones, left in office,” he said, playing off his challenger’s campaign declaration claiming Marty Jones was the ‘right Jones.’
The win will help keep one of the progressive voices on the conservative leaning board — comprised of two Republicans, two Democrats and a conservative independent.
Marty Jones ran on a platform of rolling back some of the mountainside development regulations put in place by the previous board of commissioners. The regulations went too far in reining in growth and harmed the housing market, Marty said.
“I work in the construction business and it’s been devastating If we get Marty maybe we can change some things in the local economy,” Jackson County resident Warren Stillwell said.
Reactions from at least one voter showed a level of contentedness with local leadership, and that boded well for Mark Jones.
“Locally, I like the way things are being handled here,” said Mark Herron, 52, from Sylva. “So, I voted for incumbents.”
Marty Jones said it is hard to tell whether his loss is a reflection of his platform or because of unrelated voting trends. He fared poorly in the Cullowhee precinct, for example, where turn out included a large number of student voters.
“With the constant number of buses coming in from campus, I had a feeling that was going to be an issue for me because the college students are predominantly Democratic voters and there were a lot of them,” Marty Jones said of his observations at the polls early voting. Marty commended Mark Jones on running a good race, however.
Jackson County commissioner
Mark Jones (D)..........................8,592 (53%)
Marty Jones (R).........................7,565 (47%)
Vickie Greene ran unopposed to a second open seat on the Jackson Board of Commissioners.