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Republicans sweep in Henderson County

Despite uncertainty in the closely watched presidential race, Republicans in the mountains erected a red wall that turned back any gains Democrats hoped to notch on Tuesday.

In Henderson County, with 35 of 35 precincts reporting plus all the early vote so far, Republican cruised. In Henderson County and surrounding counties, Republicans won the open 11th Congressional District seat and three legislative seats, secured the only contested Henderson County Board of Commissioners seat and vanquished the only judgeship in District 29B held by a Democrat.

Madison Cawthorn won the open 11th Congressional District seat that had been in the GOP column since it was redrawn before the 2012 election. It was a race that was watched closely by the national press because its former occupant, Mark Meadows, is now Trump's chief of staff.

Down the ballot, state Sen. Chuck Edwards turned back a challenge from Democratic nominee Brian Caskey with 59 to 41 percent of the vote. Tim Moffitt and Jake Johnson, both appointed to the House seats they sought for the first time, won their races handily, as did County Commissioner Daniel Andreotta, who also was appointed and then stood for election. In the School Board race, former teacher, principal and central office administrator Kathy Revis led eight candidates vying to fill four seats. Blair Craven, the board chair, won re-election while newcomers Robert Bridges, a retired teacher and guidance counselor, and Stacey Caskey, a schoolteacher who now owns tutoring business, also won seats.

Henderson County's red wave held strong from top to bottom. President Trump led Joe Biden 59 to 50 percent, Thom Tillis outpolled Cal Cunningham 58 to 38 percent and Republican challenger Dan Forest topped Gov. Roy Cooper 56 to 43 percent.

When early voting ended at 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon, Henderson County's voter turnout stood at 64.5 percent, a record for voting before Election Day. Across the state, 4.53 million voters had cast ballots — 1.4 million more than in 2016. Across the state, 1.7 million Democrats voted compared to 1.43 million Republicans and 1.37 million independents, according to N.C. Board of Elections statistics.

The breakdown for early voting at four polling places in Henderson County was 7,291 in Etowah, 9,912 in Fletcher, 5,484 in Flat Rock and 18,911 at the Board of Elections on East Central Street, in the unofficial tally provided by the elections board on Saturday. Including mail-in absentee voting, the total number of votes cast or received stood at 56,411. That number will grow because the U.S. Supreme Court turned back a Republican Party challenge of the decision by the N.C. Board of Elections to count mail-in absentee ballots received by 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12.