By DEUCE NIVEN
Only one of four incumbent Columbus County Commissioners up for re-election this year will return to those seats in December, unofficial results of Tuesday’s general election show.
Incumbent District 5 commissioner Trent Burroughs, a Tabor City Democrat whose district takes in much of southeastern Columbus County, claimed just 38 percent of the vote, challenger Republican Brent Watts taking the win handily with 62 percent of the ballots cast for him.
Burroughs, earlier Tuesday, said his home precinct, South Williams, was critical. Burroughs lost in all five precincts, including South Williams, 1,150 to 998, the unofficial total showed.
In commissioner’s District 2 GOP challenger Chris Smith took 61 percent to displace incumbent Democrat James Prevatte; while the District 4 seat went to GOP member Lavern Coleman in his first bid for public office with 68 percent of the vote, Democrat Rickie G. Rouse trailing.
Coleman will take the seat being vacated by current board chairman Edwin Russ, a former Democrat who switched to the GOP and was defeated by Coleman in the Republican primary earlier this year.
Giles E. (Buddy) Byrd is the only incumbent who will return to the board of commissioners in December, taking 68 percent of the vote for the District 3 seat over Democrat challenger Ray Battle.
Look for more election results in Wednesday’s Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.