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Blakely defeats incumbent Clark in Fletcher

In Fletcher, 25-year-old challenger Preston Blakely defeated incumbent Hugh Clark with 72 percent of the vote to win a seat on the City Council.

 

A Fletcher native and graduate of Asheville High School, Blakely has an undergraduate degree from UNC Greensboro and masters degree from Western Carolina University.

"I'm excited," Blakely said. "We knocked on doors, made phone calls, reminded people to vote. It was really a grassroots campaign." He said he wants to make sure Fletcher residents are engaged in the town governance and he plans to use social media to ramp that up.

"I want to make sure they're involved in the decision-making process," he said. He also plans to advocate for a Henderson County public library branch in Fletcher. The town is facing a growth surge, with hundreds of apartments and townhomes under construction. "I think growth is good. That brings in more money to the town," he said. With new residents coming in, it's important to complete the Town Center improvements the council has been pursuing.

In Saluda challenger Bob Ross led all candidates for two seats on the City Commission. Stanley Walker won re-election and incumbent Leon Morgan finished third and lost his re-election bid. Saluda voters overwhelmingly approved mixed beverages in restaurants, theaters and other settings.