Ensley leads county commissioner ticket; Swanger retains seat
Republican incumbent Haywood County Commissioner Kevin Ensley lead the ticket for the county board race Tuesday with 28 percent of the vote at press deadline. Commission Chairman Mark Swanger, a Democrat, was in second place early in the evening, a lead that shrank to a razor-thin margin over Republican challenger Denny King as more precincts reported. When the final votes were tallied at 10:45 p.m., Swanger held a 365-vote lead over King — 12,970 to 12,605, garnering 25.2 percent and 24.5 percent of the vote, respectively.
Ensley captured 14,797 votes, garnering 28.8 percent of the vote, while Democrat Mike Treadway had about 21 percent with 11,075 votes.
The incumbents ran on their record, arguing that the county had held the line on spending during tough economic times and trimmed costs in a way that didn’t harm essential services county residents expected.
Treadway said he would like to bring more jobs to the county and King based his campaign on reducing spending, lowering property taxes, protecting private property rights, cultivating a pro-business environment and advocating for a limited constitutional government.