Keith Branch, Larry Wood Win Board Of Commissioners Primary

There will be at least two new faces on the Johnston County Board of Commissioners.  On Tuesday, voters elected a school board member and a political newcomer to the board.

Larry Wood of Four Oaks upset DeVan Barbour IV of Benson for the District 4 seat.  Barbour was attempting to fill the seat being vacated by his father Vice Chairman DeVan Barbour III who is stepping down this year. Wood, a Republican, will have no Democratic opposition in November.

Wood, who conducted a low-key campaign compared to a more visible Barbour, received 58 percent support (11,599 votes) to 42 percent (8,538 votes) for Barbour, in unofficial totals.

After the loss, Barbour said on his social media account, “There are no words to describe how much I appreciate everyone’s prayers and support over these last few months. We came up short tonight, be we campaigned hard and we stayed positive. I’m proud of the race we ran, and am truly thankful for all of the new friendships we’ve made along the way.”

In the District 6 Republican primary for the seat being vacated by Chairman Tony Braswell, school board member Keith Branch held off a bid from Darryl Mitchell for the seat.  Similar to the District 4 race, no Democrat filed for the seat. Branch will not have any opposition on the ballot on Nov. 8th.

Branch garnered 59 percent of the votes (11,730) to Mitchell’s 41 percent (8,193) in unofficial returns.

Reacting to his win on Facebook, Branch said, “I am overwhelmed by the support I received today. Please know I do not take it lightly. I am humbled by the confidence you have placed in me.”

In a social media posting Tuesday night Mitchell said, “Thank you to each of you who supported me during my campaign for Johnston County Commissioner. I did not win the election. Obedience is better than sacrifice.  First I thank God for the opportunity… If it were God’s will for me to win today, it would have happened. I’d rather be in His will and not win, than to win and be out of His will.”