by Gene Marrano
Butch Church summed it up this way after beating back a strong challenge from two contenders: “I feel pretty good right now,” said Church, who won a fourth term on the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. The Catawba representative and current board chairman said his reelection said something else about the negative tone of the campaign, especially from independent Carter Turner.
“It sends a loud and clear message. [Voters] want no part of it. They’re not going to fall for these off-the-wall-antics.” He termed it “negative sensationalism.” Church also said the larger war chests his opponents had also showed that money doesn’t always win elections.
Turner questioned Church’s assertion that he had opposed an asphalt plant in Glenvar, one that local residents did not want built in a populated area – a charge that led to some heated exchanges. There was also a flap about a service dog in training that was out on the campaign trail. “Voters saw through that,” said Church, who ran as an Independent. Church said voters told him: “We need you Butch, you’ve done a fine job for our area.” He then added, “They spoke quite loudly. My citizens have honored me tonight.”
Church beat Turner and Republican challenger David Drake, garnering 41% of the vote to 31% by Turner and 28% by Drake. Church, who takes a lot of solace from the Bible said, “Without God none of this would have happened.”
David Wymer also won a second term as Catawba’s representative on the Roanoke County School Board, beating back a challenge by A.C. Burke.
Meanwhile, Cave Spring supervisor Charlotte Moore, running as an Independent, eked out another close win for a second term, winning by 76 votes over Republican George Assaid. Independent Stan Seymour was third. “I work hard every day …to do things that citizens want and need,” said Moore. “Every little issue, no matter how small it may seem, is important to that person. I try to handle every issue on a [daily] basis. I’m very proud that they supported me.”
Moore didn’t think she would win four years ago and said, “I really wanted to continue what I started, trying to implement the things I’m passionate about. It was more nerve-racking this time.”
Nancy Horn was returned to her post as Roanoke County Commissioner of the Revenue, fending off an aggressive challenge from Republican Carla Bream. Horn won handily, garnering 59% of the vote to Bream’s 33%. “I am delighted that the race is over, because I have a lot of work to do every day,” said Horn. Bream had leveled charges that Horn’s office was not customer-friendly and was difficult to reach by phone.
“It was hard to work at night on [the campaign],” added Horn. As for her department’s performance? “I don’t intend to change anything in my office,” she declared. Many of those who work for Horn showed up at the Holiday Inn Tanglewood, where Moore and Horn supporters gathered to watch election results.
“They must feel like I’ve handled things well at the county,” said Horn, who also praised her “excellent staff.” The Democrat will begin a fourth term as Commissioner of the Revenue.
Elsewhere Fuzzy Minnix (School Board- Cave Spring) and Roanoke County treasurer Kevin Hutchins won unopposed races.