11/05/08 — Anderson holds off Bruton to keep seat

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Anderson holds off Bruton to keep seat

By Steve Herring
Published in News on November 5, 2008 1:46 PM


Steve Keen, left, and Andy Anderson celebrate their victories at the Elks Lodge in Goldsboro Tuesday.

District 1 County Commissioner Wilbur "Andy" Anderson of Pikeville retained his seat on the board by a comfortable margin, outpacing challenger Charles Bruton of Fremont 5,850 votes to 4,091.

Anderson, a Republican, captured 58.85 percent of the vote, while Bruton, a Democrat, secured 41.15 percent. The results will be classified as unofficial until the county canvass.

"I think we had a good election," Anderson said. "I wish the weather had been better. I think Charles ran a clean race. He is a gentleman, and I respect what he did. I will be calling on him in the future to help me."

Anderson said he was not really surprised by the local election turnouts.

"It is reasonably close to about what I thought," he said.

He said the county has a "good board of commissioners" whose members work well together. He said the members "politic" outside the board meetings, but get down and get the work done when they meet.

That demonstrates that the county has a reasonable two-party system, he added.

Anderson said he is hopeful that the economy will hold out so the county can complete its current plans, but for now, the commission has to be careful about spending.

"Citizens are looking to us not to increase taxes," he said.

Anderson said he also hopes voters will reconsider an increase in the local sales tax. That tax, he said, is fairer in that everyone pays. He said he thinks the reason the sales tax referendum failed last May was because residents thought the county would raise property taxes as well.

However, the sales tax would "help lift some of the burden" of property tax, he said.

Anderson's opponent said although he will not be serving on the commission, he will remain active in the community.

"Andy did well and I congratulate him," Bruton said. "I would have liked to have won. I am going to step back and yes, certainly as a resident, I want to be active. I feel I have something to offer."

Bruton said it is too early to make a call on whether he will make another run for public office.

However, he said he hopes to remain active by serving on county boards or committees.

"The experience has been very positive," Bruton said. "It was a rewarding experience. I have learned a lot. The community has been very supportive."