Cabarrus County voters returned incumbent Carolyn Carpenter to the school board on Tuesday with more than 20 percent of the vote, in a field of eight candidates competing for three seats.
With all precincts reporting, Carpenter won re-election, but incumbent Blake Kiger ran seventh with 8.5 percent of the vote.
Joining Carpenter on the board will be former board member Tim Furr, 17 percent, and newcomer Vince Powell, 16 percent. Andrea Palo trailed with 14 percent, followed by Denver Walker with 10 percent, Tom Clark with 9 percent and Horace Stainback with 4 percent.
“I worked very, very hard because this is something I love to do,” Carpenter said.
“I’ll tell you, I’m exhausted,” she told a supporter.
In the race for N.C. House District 82, Republican incumbent Larry Pittman led Earle Schecter 59 percent to 41 percent with all precincts reported.
More than 65 percent of voters approved issuing $11 million in general obligation bonds to replace the aging Royal Oaks Elementary School in the Cabarrus County school system.
By the same margin, voters approved $9 million in community college bonds for an advanced technology center at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. RCCC officials say the center would help prepare the local workforce, as demand grows for technology-savvy workers.
Cabarrus voters also selected a Superior Court judge and three District Court judges in contested races. District Court judge William Hamby was unopposed for re-election.
In final, unofficial returns, Marty McGee beat Bill Rogers 66 percent to 34 percent for Superior Court judge.
For District Court judge, Brent Cloninger defeated Juanita Boger-Allen 63 percent to 37 percent; Donna Johnson beat Benjamin Franklin Jr. 53 percent to 47 percent; and Christy Wilhelm topped Steven A. Grossman 56 percent to 44 percent.
“I am grateful to all of the volunteers and supporters who helped us,” Johnson said of her win.
Voter turnout in Cabarrus appeared heavier than in 2010, said Cabarrus County Elections Director Carol Link Soles. Four years ago, she said the early voting accounted for 11 percent of the 44 percent turnout, while in this election 12.5 percent of registered voters cast early ballots, even “with one less week of early voting.”
“We had steady turnout during the day, with people waiting to vote, then it picked up after 5:30 with people getting off work,” Soles said.
During the campaign, school board candidates talked about planning for growth, bracing for possible cuts in education, and keeping teachers here rather than losing them to other districts offering higher pay.