Haywood County’s incumbent Republican commissioners, Vice Chairman Brandon Rogers and Chairman Kevin Ensley, won the primary election to defend their board seats in November.
In a vote-for-two race, Rogers received a high of 4,972 votes, while Ensley took 3,169 votes to edge out Jennifer Best’s 3,052 votes, and Terry Ramey received 1,656 votes.
Come the general election in November, the Republican incumbents will defend their seats on the board of commissioners against Democrats Leah Hampton and David Young, both of Waynesville.
“I’m humbled and thankful for all the supporters and the help that I’ve got so far,” Rogers said minutes after the final votes were reported. “I’ve had a lot of support and help since the campaign began, and I’m appreciative of that.”
Rogers said he plans to take it easy for a while, then get back to campaigning ahead of elections in November. Until then, commissioner duties resume as normal.
“We’re moving in the right direction as a county,” Rogers said. “People appreciate that and want to see it continue.”
Ensley was complimentary of Best, who he defeated by less than one percentage point.
“She was a very good candidate, definitely a qualified candidate,” Ensley said. “She ran a good, clean race, and she ran hard.”
Like Rogers, Ensley said voters responded to the county’s leadership during his time as commissioner, specifically the county’s improved financial situation.
“I appreciate the opportunity to represent the party again in November, and I look forward to November,” Ensley said. “I’ll do my best, like I’ve always done.”
Also like Rogers, commissioner duties continue as usual for Ensley moving toward November elections.
“We’ll just continue doing the successful things that we’ve been doing,” Ensley said. “We have a great staff, and they have some great ideas about how we can move forward as a county.”
Best said she trusts that Rogers and Ensley will continue to respond to the concerns of the community and continue to vote in a conservative manner.
“I am so thankful for the opportunity to run for such a valuable position in our county,” Best said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity, but I don’t plan to run again.”
Ramey did not respond to requests for comment.