By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Nerves and tension was imminent amongst those awaiting the results of the ballots casted by local voters. Friends and family of the local candidates mingled as the precinct numbers trickled in and the standings were posted. This election has become one of the bigger elections to take place on not only a local level with the county commissioner race, but also amongst the state representatives that consists of a Tucker County native Cory Chase.
Diane Hinkle, incumbent President of County Commission, was joined by her husband Scott. Hinkle was asked if she was glad this election process will soon come to an end, to which she responded, “I am, it’s been a long year”. When asked if looking back, would she change anything, Hinkle responded “I don’t think, I think I did my best. I went door to door, attended public events, talked to people individually, and been very transparent with subjects and topics”.
Write in candidate Fred Davis was joined by his wife Donna, brother Randy, his son Hunter, and daughters Holly and Keisha. Davis was also asked if he was glad this process would soon be over. “Yes, it’s been something different”, was his reply. When asked if looking back, would he change anything, he simply responded with “No”.
As the night wore on, Sheriff Brian Wilfong read each precinct results to those in attendance. One by one, each of the results were posted and the long road to the end of the campaign trail was coming into sight. Write-in candidate Fred Davis won the first several precincts followed by a win for incumbent Commissioner Diane Hinkle in precinct twelve by a single vote. Davis continued to win the remainder of the precincts until Hinkle won precinct fifteen, the last to be tallied, by a margin of 259 to 101. Even with a large win with precinct fifteen, Davis had already secured the victory, winning the election for Tucker County Commission by a total of 1852 to 1201. It is believed that this is the first time a write in candidate has won a general election within our county.
At the conclusion of the evening, Hinkle congratulated Davis and wished him well, however her husband had a few more words to share. A verbal altercation broke out and accusations were made before Sheriff Wilfong stepped in to restore peace to the courtroom. Prior to departing, Hinkle made the statement, “It has been an honor to work for the citizens of Tucker County and I wish the best for the county”.
After the emotions began to settle, Davis was able to participate in an interview with Channel 12 News and The Parsons Advocate. When asked what he felt contributed to a win by this margin, he responded, “I’ve known the kids here for thirty eight years and I’ve treated everyone pretty equally. I think it paid off and showed that everyone really stood behind me and I appreciate everyone in Tucker County that stood up for me”.
Davis stated the first area he felt needed the most attention is in reference to the EMS. “Everyone complains about it so it must be a problem, but it’s not the employees”, he said. “The employees do a good job with what they have, we just need more paramedics”. Davis continued, “We need school bus and state road drivers, so I’d like to see a CDL class offered here or a trade school in our industrial park to train students for such jobs”.
Anchorman for Channel 12 asked Davis what his plans are for the next few days, to which Davis explained today was in fact his twenty – fifth wedding anniversary and those plans had to be put on hold for today. “It’ll take a while to get used to what just happened”, he admitted. Davis will take his seat as the new Tucker County Commissioner in January of 2019.