2022 Election: local unofficial results


All reported numbers will be from the North Carolina State Board of Elections or Watauga County Board of Elections. The Appalachian will not call winners of a race unless there is a statistical certainty that a candidate will win.

In order for election results to become official, election officials must “ensure every eligible ballot is counted” by auditing and certifying results, according to NCSBE. The county board will certify local contest results Nov. 18, and all other contests will be certified Nov. 29.

This information was last updated Nov. 9 at 12:50 a.m. All precincts are reported. 

Board of Education projected winners: Gary Childers, Jay Fenwick and Marshall Ashcraft

Gary Childers, Jay Fenwick and Marshall Ashcraft are projected to defeat Chad Cole, Jennie Hanifan and Dustin Kerley for seats on the Board of Education. 

BOE members are responsible for working together to align county educational policies with state and federal requirements and making funding requests to the county board of commissioners. 

Gary Childers was appointed to the BOE in 2017 and is currently the chairman of the board. 

Jay Fenwick is a computer science professor at the university and has served two previous terms on the BOE before being elected to his third. 

Marshall Ashcraft is a retired Watauga County Schools information officer and has served on the board for one term previously to his re-election. 

Watauga County Sheriff projected winner: Len Hagaman Jr. 

Len Hagaman Jr. is the projected winner for Watauga County sheriff, projected to beat David Searcy.

According to the Watauga County website, the role of the Watauga County sheriff is to “provide primary law enforcement services to the citizens of Watauga County in order to protect their lives, well-being and property,” as well as to “enhance the citizen’s quality of life by reducing crime and the fear of crime.” 

Hagaman is a Watauga County native, having attended Watauga High School and earning a degree at App State.

This will be Hagaman’s fifth term serving as sheriff, and second time running against Searcy. He ran against Searcy in 2018.

N.C. district court judge District 24 seat one projected winner: Matt Rupp

Matt Rupp is the projected winner for District Court Judge for North Carolina District 24, having run unopposed. 

As district court judge, Rupp will take one of the 94 district or trial court positions across the nation handling civil and criminal cases. District court judges primarily supervise both the pretrial process and the trials themselves.

Their responsibilities include the management of the jury selection process, ruling on admissions of evidence, pleas in criminal cases, resolving issues surrounding the acceptance of the verdict and entry of judgment and sentencing the defendant if a trial results in a conviction.

Before his win, Rupp served as an attorney prosecuting for Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, Yancey, Madison and Mecklenburg counties. 

Rupp also served as counsel to two U.S. congressional committees, as President George W. Bush’s presidential appointee and as a former staff member to U.S. Senator Jesse Helms

As part of his campaign, Rupp said on his website, “I will protect and defend the promises guaranteed to all Americans by our constitution.”

N.C. district attorney District 35 projected winner: Seth Banks

Seth Banks is the projected winner for the district attorney office for North Carolina District 35, having run unopposed. 

District attorney positions consist of representing their state in the prosecution of criminal matters.

Banks has served as district attorney in the 24th District since 2014.

Banks ran with a focus on efficient and professional administration, dedication to reducing drug crimes, commitment to deal with crimes swiftly, a focus on violent and habitual felons, hands-on leadership and a conservative voice.

Banks is said to be “a tough but fair prosecutor who is highly regarded by those who have worked with him,” according to his profile on the office of the district attorney website.

Soil and Water District Supervisor projected winners: Billy Moretz and Chris Hughes

Billy Moretz and Chris Hughes are projected to win positions on the Soil & Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors, projected to defeat J. Ballard Reynolds.

Voters could choose from two candidates out of three on the ballot with two write-in opportunities. Two positions were available to be filled. 

Hughes and Moretz will serve the county by working with landowners to strategize and implement conservation procedures.  

Hughes served as the board president of the statewide association and is running for re-election. 

Moretz operates the Moretz Mountain Orchard and holds a position on the board of supervisors, running for re-election.

Board of Commissioners and Clerk of Superior Court

All three board of commissioners and clerk of superior court races are too close to call, as of Nov. 9 at 12:50 a.m. The numerous provisional ballots tabulated could sway the results of all these elections. The Appalachian will update this information and announce a projected winner for these races when there is a statistical certainty a candidate will win. Provisional ballots will be counted in a public canvass meeting by the county board of elections Nov. 18 in order to determine voter eligibility.