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Commissioner incumbents win Swain primary

swainSwain County commissioner incumbents Steve Moon and David Monteith received the vote of confidence in the Democratic primary election.


Moon received 27 percent of the vote while Monteith was close behind with 26.5 percent of the vote. The other three candidates running in the primary received 18 percent or less of the votes cast. 

As the top vote-getters out of five candidates, Moon and Monteith will now move on to run in the general election. Moon and Monteith will be competing against Republican challengers Carolyn Bair and Lance Grant in November to keep their seats. Since Swain County holds at-large commissioner elections, the top two vote-getters in November will win the seats. 

Monteith, a 69-year-old retired market manager at Ingles who is now a Swain County school bus driver, is currently serving his fifth term as commissioner. He considers himself a hands-on commissioner and hasn’t spent much time or money on campaigning for another term because he feels like his accomplishments speak for him.

“I’m just anxious to get started back to work — that’s what I’m after,” Monteith said. “Helping Swain County is my top priority.”

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He says he wants to try for another term so he can see some current projects through to fruition, including the settlement of the North Shore Road money owed to Swain County by the federal government. 

When the road leading out of Bryson City was flooded in the 1940s to construct Lake Fontana, the federal government promised to build back the road and never did. The county finally agreed on a $52 million cash settlement but has received only $12.8 million to date. The rest of the money continues to be held up in the National Park Service budget. Time is quickly running out because the settlement agreement expires in three years. 

Moon, a 65-year-old retired tire shop owner, has served as a county commissioner for 10 years and served as a school board member for six years before becoming a commissioner. He is also hopeful the current board can get the North Shore Road settlement from the federal government in the next three years. 

Bair, a 67-year-old retired fast-food worker from Whittier, ran for commissioner in 2014 when all four seats were up for grabs. She was the lowest vote-getter out of six candidates. The 2014 election was the last year all commissioners were up for election at the same time, and now commissioners serve staggered four-year terms.

Grant, a 43-year-old engineer, ran for commissioner in 2014 but didn’t garner enough votes to get one of the four open seats.



Democrat primary, Swain commissioners race

• 30 percent of registered voters in Swain County cast a ballot

• Steve Moon 744 (27%)

• David Monteith 725 (26.5%)

• David R. Anthony 507 (18.5%)

• Wayne Dover 449 (16.39%)

• Boyd Andre Gunter 315 (11.5%)

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