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Three for four ... more years, that is
Incumbents romp in races for sheriff, coroner, tax commissioner
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Forsyth County News

Forsyth County voters on Tuesday also re-elected their sheriff, coroner and tax commissioner by wide margins.

Sheriff Ted Paxton will serve a third, four-year term after defeating challengers Scott Pruitt and Brian Millard.

Paxton received 10,868 votes, or 85 percent with Pruitt tallying 956 votes, or 8 percent, and Millard at 907 votes, or 7 percent.

Paxton, who joined his supporters at the Polo Fields Country Club on election night, said the results were humbling.

"Sometimes you find yourself speechless to see this kind of support," he said. "I look forward to continuing as sheriff and I'm thankful to those who supported me."

Pruitt said Wednesday he will consider another run at the office in four years.

"I'm not looking at it as I only got 8 percent, I'm looking at it as Paxton only got (85) percent," said Pruitt, a former sheriff's deputy who has been charged with 20 felony counts of violation of the Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act, and one count each of theft by taking, theft by conversion, computer trespass and violation of oath of office.

"That tells me that one out of five people are not happy with his progress," said Pruitt, who has not yet been indicted on those charges. "We'll just have to see what happens in the next four years."

Millard, who is a current deputy in the department, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

In the coroner's race, incumbent Lauren McDonald III triumphed with 71 percent of the vote, or 8,851 ballots cast, over challenger Phillip Faulkner, who received 3,617 votes, or 29 percent.

McDonald said he is proud to serve another four years.

"It's humbling every time you do run for political office for the people," he said. "They speak out and they let us know who they wanted to be their coroner. It's exciting."

McDonald said Faulkner's camp reviewed two years of coroner's office records during the campaign, but the race was cordial.

"It was pretty much a private audit to use for an election," he said. "And it seems we did OK."

Faulkner kept his comments brief.

"I would just offer my congratulations to Lauren and pretty much leave it at that," he said.

With 46 percent more of the vote, Matthew Ledbetter will continue to serve as tax commissioner in Forsyth County.

"This is not something you win in a campaign," Ledbetter said of another four-year term. "It's something you win in three and a half years of good service to the citizens."

Ledbetter said he was not surprised he won, only by the margin of victory against opponent Bill Jenkins, a corporate management professional.

Ledbetter drew 9,181 votes, or 73 percent, to Jenkins' 3,422 votes, or 27 percent.

Jenkins, who could not be reached Wednesday for comment, ran against Ledbetter during the last election, which resulted in a similar outcome.

"It's the employees that deserve all the appreciation for my success," Ledbetter said. "We all look forward to serving the citizens of Forsyth County for another four years."