Democrats retain power on Swain board
Swain County will spend the next four years with an all-Democrat board of commissioners after all the incumbents running for office held onto their seats and Donnie Dixon and Robert White scooped up the two open spots.
Neither current chairman Glenn Jones nor commissioner Genevieve Lindsay sought re-election after both spent the last eight years on the board.
Steve Moon will serve his second term on the board, winning one district and 12 percent of the vote. He owns a tire shop and came to the board after a six-year run on the county’s school board. Moon said during the spring primaries that he wanted to stay on the board to watch over its allocation of interest from the North Shore Road settlement.
David Monteith, also an incumbent, came away with three of the county’s five districts and just under 15 percent of votes, the largest percentage of any winner. Monteith is a school bus driver and was the lone commissioner to vote against the North Shore Road settlement. He campaigned on a platform of protecting and increasing the county’s job base.
Donnie Dixon, a newcomer to the board, didn’t win outright in any precincts, but still pulled out nearly 13 percent of the vote. Dixon is a machinist who served a single term as commissioner in the 90s, but is coming back to the board with ideas of greater openness, televised meetings and courting higher paying jobs for the county.
Robert White is the second newcomer but is also no stranger to public life as retired superintendent of the county’s school system. He campaigned on strategic planning and citizen involvement to lead the board, citing the expertise in both areas that he gained as superintendent as good qualities to recommend him for the job.
While the four commissioners had to beat out a total field of nine challengers, the race for chairman was run between only two. Current board member Phil Carson won, edging out Mike Clampitt by just under 5 percent of the votes.
Swain County Board of Commissioners (Chairman)
Phil Carson (D) 2,319
Mike Clampitt (R) 2,083
Swain County Board of Commissioners (vote for 4)
David Monteith (D) 2,465
Donnie Dixon (D) 2,089
Steve Moon (D) 2,041
Robert White (D) 1,976
James King (R) 1,788
John Herrin (R) 1,778
Andy Parris (R) 1,724
Gerald Shook Jr. (R) 1,604
William (Neil) Holden (L) 1,015