Voters in District 4, which covers most of north Forsyth, elected Cindy Jones Mills their next county commissioner Tuesday.
Mills garnered nearly two-thirds of the vote to defeat incumbent Patrick Bell and secure a four-year term.
She received about 2,508 votes, or 66 percent of the total, to Bell’s 34 percent, or 1,316 votes. With no Democrats or independents running in November, she will take office in 2013.
Mills, a real estate agent who also owns a small trucking company, will take office in 2013.
Tuesday night, Mills was thankful for her supporters and campaign volunteers, many whom gathered at her home to celebrate. She was “very appreciative” of the support, especially with the voters who returned to the polls.
In the July 31 primary, Mills received 2,538 votes, or about 44 percent. Bell came in second in the five-candidate field with 1,535 votes, or about 27 percent.
“My goal from the primary to the runoff was trying to get my people back out,” she said. “My total votes came in only 30 under where I was in the primary. That number meant a lot because it meant those people had faith in me.”
Mills said she received a voice mail from Bell offering congratulations after the results came in.
Though he wasn’t “ecstatic” about the outcome, Bell said he accepted the voters’ decision.
“I believe I’ve done a great job in office. I’ve never made a decision based on elections, and that’s evident,” he said. “I make my votes based on what I believe is right.
“I’ve always said that’s the way I’d do it, and if the voters were happy with it, they’d put me back. And if they weren’t, they wouldn’t.”
He plans to complete his term working toward solutions for the issues facing the county and offering assistance to help Mills make a “seamless transition” into the post.
“It’s not about grudges and ill will,” Bell said. “It’s about what’s best for the citizens of this county.”
Mills said she intends to spend the remainder of the year attending commission meetings and learning from county staff. Her base salary when her term begins will be $34,976.
“I look forward to serving [my district] with the honesty and respect that they deserve,” she said. “I’m going to work hard to prepare myself so when I take office in January, I’m ready. I want to represent the people well and I think that comes with being prepared.”
Bell said he will return to focusing on his two businesses and his family.
He also has “great opportunities coming” as part of his plan B, which he will reveal in a few weeks.
“I am not upset, mad, angry or saddened by the results of last night,” Bell said. “It’s just another chapter, and the fact of the matter is God’s in control and he’s got a plan and I’m OK with it.”