Martin Oakes of Denver won a surprise victory in the race for a seat on the Lincoln Board of County Commissioners, winning one of two spots on the November ballot, along with former Lincoln County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Bill Beam.
Oakes finished first in Tuesday’s Republican primary, with 2,495 votes, and Beam was second with 2,222 votes, beating Lincolnton Planning and Zoning Board member Anita McCall, with 2,091 votes, according to complete but unofficial returns.
Former Lake Norman Marine Commission Chairman Rich Permenter finished fourth with 1,779 votes.
Oakes and Beam now advance to the November general election.
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A fifth GOP candidate, Mike Davis of Crouse, died April 6 at age 61. The primary ballots had already been printed with his name on them.
Adam Long is the lone Democratic candidate for commissioner and automatically moved on to the general election.
The two open seats are now held by commissioners James Klein and Carl Robinson, who decided not to seek re-election. Their terms end in December.
In the GOP primary for Lincoln County Clerk of Superior Court, incumbent Fred Hatley won with 2,354 votes, followed by school board Chairperson Candy Burgin with 1,554 votes and Lincoln County commissioners’ Chairman Alex Patton with 1,268 votes.