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Two commission incumbents in, third to runoff

District 2

Forsyth County District 2 Commissioner Brian Tam came out on top in the Republican primary Tuesday and in the process essentially secured a third, four-year term.

Tam received 3,048 votes, or 58 percent, to Dennis Brown’s 1,952 votes, or about 37 percent. Scott Padis received 280 votes, for about 5 percent of the total.

No Democrats or Independents have mounted a bid in the Nov. 6 General Election.

While Tam has been in office for nearly eight years, it was his first race under the new district-only format.

He said he was “grateful” to the voters, as well as his family, friends and supporters during the campaign in District 2, which includes much of south Forsyth.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity of serving my constituents and continuing to bring them quality amenities while providing one of the lowest tax rates in the region,” he said.

Tam, who owns Bluegrass Food, said he will continue to work hard to bring results to his constituency.

Neither Brown, a retired military officer, nor Padis, who did not appear at any local debates this campaign season, could be reached for comment Tuesday or Wednesday.

District 4

The race for the northern District 4 Forsyth County commission post has narrowed.

Commissioner Patrick Bell, who is seeking a second term, will face Cindy Jones Mills in a runoff on Aug. 21, since none of the five candidates received more than 50 percent of the vote.

Mills received the most votes of the five candidates vying for the post in District 4, which spans most of north Forsyth.

She garnered 2,538 votes, or about 44 percent. Bell also advanced to the runoff with 1,535 votes, or about 27 percent.

Also in the hunt Tuesday: Tim Hubbard, Bill Mulrooney and Charles Meagher.

Both Mills and Bell said they expected the crowded race to end in a runoff election. Whoever wins on Aug. 21 likely will secure the four-year commission term as there’s no opposition on the Nov. 6 ballot.

“[The vote] clearly shows that people are interested in pro-business and pro-jobs and they’re happy with what I’ve been doing or I wouldn’t have made the runoff,” said Bell, who is self-employed in retail apparel industry and a mediator and consultant for local governments.

Mills, a real estate agent who also owns a small trucking company, was “excited and humbled by the great show of support from the voters of District 4.”

“In a five-man race, to get 44 percent is a great achievement,” she said. “I’m just a step closer to being the next commissioner and I’m excited about it.”

Meagher said Wednesday morning that the district’s voters made a “commanding statement” in the primary.

“It was obvious that the district is seeking a change and it’s kind of obvious who their first choice is,” he said.

Meagher, who retired after careers in the military and education, plans to remain involved in the county in his role on the board of tax assessors.

He wished both campaigns “the best of luck” in the runoff, and he thanked those who supported him in his bid.

Mulrooney, a small business owner, said the experience of running for office was one he’s glad to have had.

“I’d probably do things a little differently, but I’d do it all over again,” he said.

He plans to stay informed and involved in county government as a resident.

Hubbard, who received the third-most votes, could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning.

District 5

Forsyth County Commissioner Jim Boff likely earned a second term on Tuesday night, beating challenger John Derucki in the Republican primary.

In District 5, which covers eastern Forsyth, Boff tallied about 61 percent, or 3,555 votes, of the total to Derucki’s 2,229 votes, or about 39 percent.

With no Democrats seeking the post, Boff will clinch the spot unless an independent qualifies for the November race this week.

Boff, who said he was “thrilled to have won” the contest, thanked supporters and the district’s voters.

“I will do my best to continue in the same vein [over the next four years] that I have so far, and I think we have good days ahead in our county,” he said.

The election looked close for a while, he said, but the results were what many of his supporters expected.

Boff, who is retired after a career with optical fiber data networking companies, was elected chairman by his fellow commissioners at the start of the year in an annual vote.

For his part, Derucki had “no regrets” in his campaign.

“From my perspective, I think I ran a good race and I met a lot of really good people along the way,” said Derucki, a general contractor.

With a “new appreciation” for what it takes to step up for an elected position, he wished the best to all the candidates regardless of whether they came out on top.