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King wins Register of Deeds election

Lee King speaks during a candidate forum in April. Lee King speaks during a candidate forum in April.

Lee King, a Henderson County native who traces his roots back to the 18th century in the North Carolina mountains, swept to a victory in the runoff election for the county's Register of Deeds office on Tuesday in a light turnout.

 

King won the seat by a wide margin over paralegal Evona Johnson Kilpatrick, 1,689 to 1,144, capturing 59.6 percent of the vote.Turnout was 4.89 percent, with 2,843 voters casting a ballot among 58,198 registered to vote.

 

"I do want to thank Mrs. Kilpatrick," King said. "She ran a clean campaign. I've known her for years. I considered her a friend before we started this and I consider her a friend today."

Throughout the campaign, King made a habit of showing up at any event where at least a few dozen potential voters were gathered.

"It really basically was word of mouth, just calling family and friends and having them call their family and friends and their get out the word and did a lot of praying," he said. "I tried to visit different groups and be a part of the community, get out there and meet people in the county. I went to Music on Main a couple of times, probably (attended) 10, 12, 14 events.

"If I saw something on the calendar that looked interesting, I tried to go. I went to the Street Dance Monday night. A friend of mine was clogging there so that was neat. It's just been neat to see all that this community has. It's a rich community, and I've been able to get out and see why people find Henderson County home. Without my faith in Jesus Christ, I wouldn't have made it through this."
As for his plans once he is sworn in in December, he said he plans to make good on his campaign promise to move ahead on getting official records on line.
"That's the No. 1 goal, is to bring the records on line, make sure we get things modernized," he said. "I'd like to start with 1950 and go forward and take it chunks at a time ... making sure we redact any sensitive information," he said.

He thanked the voters who elected him and said he could think of no greater privilege than serving the county as a constitutional officer.