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Chief magistrate defeats predecessor
Bramblett takes 'every precinct'
Walker WEB

In Forsyth County’s race for chief magistrate, incumbent Walker Bramblett received 17,517 votes, or nearly 64 percent of the total.

“Of course I’m pleased,” he said. “It’s been an exciting night. We took every precinct and it’s been an experience.”

His opponent in the Republican primary, Barbara Cole, who held the post from 2000-08, received 9,871 votes, or 36 percent.

Cole was unable to run in 2008 after local legislation was changed to require the post be held by someone who was a member of the bar.

Cole said she finished her law degree while in the office, but did not have enough time as a member of the bar to run then. As a result, Bramblett, who ran unopposed in 2008, does not face Democratic opposition in November’s general election

“This was my first contested election and it’s exciting,” he said.

Bramblett added that he believed voters showed their confidence in his ability to lead the court, which handles a number of matters from issuing warrants to civil small claims cases.

“I think they’ve affirmed what we’ve been doing, which is trying to direct magistrate court in a direction where we treat everybody with courtesy and respect, and we support the other courts, work with the other courts,” he said.

While Cole said she was somewhat surprised by the elections, she “had a great time” throughout her campaign.

“There were lots of people, just everyday people, who helped me out,” she said. “People who had an experience down there at the magistrate court and were extremely dissatisfied. And they were the ones that really inspired me … they said, ‘I don’t have a voice.’ And I said, ‘Well, we’ll do this.’

Cole said she likely will seek the post again in four years.

“I had a lot of fun with it,” she said. “Here’s the thing, you must be the change you wish to see in others. If somebody doesn’t step forward and try to be that change, then nothing will change.

“Hopefully the next go around will be better.”