Gatewood, Sims win primaries

By: By Natalie Davis -

With the primaries now behind them, candidates are looking forward to the challenges they face in November.

Lawrence Gatewood, former Anson County manager, won the primary race for District 5 county commissioner — currently held by Chairwoman Anna Baucom, who did not file for re-election — with 309 votes (64.24 percent), against Lee Roy Lookabill Jr. He will face Republican Terry Helms in November.

The District 4 race pitted Commissioner Jim Sims against challengers Ashley Turner Drake and Fulton J. Crowder, with Sims garnering 150 votes (56.18 percent). He will run against Republican Danny Pearson and Todd Moore, unaffiliated, in the general election.

Commissioner Vancine Sturdivant ran unopposed in District 2, and will go up against Gaye Harrington, also unaffiliated, in November.

With the Anson County Board of Education, incumbents George Truman (District 5), Lisa Davis (District 4), Bobbie Little (District 2) were all unopposed.

The board has two at-large seats: one held by Marilynn Bennett, the other by Gay Lookabill, who was recently appointed to fill out the remainder of Brian Johnson’s term. Because she is unaffiliated, Gay Lookabill had to collect 689 signatures by the primary to be on the November ballot. Also joining the race for an at-large seat is Mitchell Huntley.

Sheriff Landric Reid, who has held the office since 2014, had no problem against his challenger, Marine Corps veteran Kevin Marshall. Reid won with 1,959 votes (88.01 percent.)

District Attorney Reece Saunders (of Richmond County) and Clerk of Superior Court Mark Hammonds — both Democrats — ran unchallenged.

Elections Director Steve Adams said the primaries normally have a lower turnout than the November elections.

Only 2,890 out of 17,279 registered voters — less than 17 percent — participated in the May 8 primaries.

“The turnout was less than past primiaries — and again this is dependent a lot of what races have competition on the ballot,” Adams said. “The BOE sends out multiple notices of elections, advertisements, etc.. Anson votes well in large elections.”

Adams said the BOE gives special thanks to all of the precinct officials/workers for their dedication to the election process, as well as the fire departments, schools and county facilities that serve as polling locations.

Also, to the local Fire Departments, School Systems, and county facilities that host election day.

“It truly takes a partnership of various people, places and agencies to have a successful election,” Adams said, also thanking the county manager and county commissioners for their dedication to ensure that Anson County has the most current and up-to-date voting equipment and machines.

“This was our first election with computers … in the polling sites, and we received great feedback from voters on the new more efficient check-in and voting process,” he said.

All votes are unofficial until canvassing on May 18.

By Natalie Davis