Two incumbents on the Henry County Board of Supervisors staved off challenges and handily won re-election Tuesday night.
Collinsville District Supervisor Joe Bryant took an early lead over his opponent, Randy Scott. He emerged from the race with 1,507 votes to Scott’s 592.
Iriswood District Supervisor Milton Kendall topped challenger Patrick Favero Jr. by 420 votes.
Bryant said he attributed his nearly three-to-one victory over Scott to support for the job he has done for the past four years and his people skills.
“Honestly, I did expect to win, but I didn’t think I would win by the margin I won,” Bryant said. “There were times that I was worried, but thank God I did win.”
Bryant said Scott has been critical of the board. “He didn’t want Mark Heath to be in his position, and he didn’t want any of our county administration to be there,” Bryant added.
Heath is the president/CEO of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp.
“If you are coming into a position and people don’t like you anyway because you’ve alienated them, how is that going to help get anything or move anything forward,” Bryant asked.
Scott has been critical of the EDC and has said that if elected, he would concentrate on bringing jobs to the area.
Bryant said he asked Scott several times while the two were at the polls Tuesday how he planned on attracting jobs, “and he wouldn’t answer me. ... He just turned and walked away. I’ve never had anything against him.”
From his victory party at the Texas Steakhouse on Tuesday, Bryant said, “I’m glad the election is over, and I look forward to continuing to work for the Collinsville District and Henry County.”
He added that he no longer feels like a rookie on the board, and he suspects Kendall feels the same way. They both will start their second terms in January.
The board works together well, he added. “We agree to disagree when there are things that we don’t agree on, and then we shake hands and move on,” Bryant said. “We are a family, basically, six people who are willing to put our differences aside and work together for a similar perspective of doing the best we can for the communities we serve.”
Scott said that “given the circumstances, the voters have spoken.” He did not elaborate.
In his race for the Iriswood seat, Kendall received 1,538 votes to political newcomer Favero’s 1,118.
“I’m grateful and glad to have another opportunity to serve on the board,” Kendall said. Favero “ran a good campaign, and he is a super-nice guy. I certainly wouldn’t have said it would be a lock-in for me, but I am glad to win.”
Kendall spoke from his home, where he celebrated his victory with a cookout for family and friends.
“I’d just like to thank everybody that supported me, and I’m looking forward to working for the entire district and helping the county any way I can,” Kendall said. “I will work as hard as I can for everybody in the district. Henry County is the greatest place on earth, and it’s certainly an honor and a privilege to serve.”
Favero said he “knew it was going to be a very close race. Milton is well rooted in the Axton and Mountain Valley community ... I think that was the main difference” for the wide margin of Kendall’s victory. “If you look at the breakdown of the precincts, he really out-performed me at the Mountain Valley and Leatherwood (precincts), but he out-performed me more than I anticipated. I was a little surprised I didn’t perform better in the Iriswood area,” Favero said.
When talking to campaign workers at the various polling places Tuesday, Favero said he thought the race would be closer.
“Overall, we ran a good campaign,” he said, and “I absolutely thank my supporters, and my wife, Ann, for putting up with me while I was campaigning, and my family and friends, who have provided support in many ways” throughout the campaign.
Incumbent Blackberry District Supervisor Jim Adams also won re-election. He was unopposed.
Results of the election will not be official until after the Henry County Electoral Board conducts a canvass beginning at 9 a.m. today.