Two of the three seats up for election on the Macon County Board of Education ran unopposed, guaranteeing their place on the board before the election even began. Nantahala representative Melissa Evans and newcomer Hilary Wilkes, representing the Highlands District both ran unopposed, securing their place on the board.
While Wilkes ran unopposed for the Highlands seat, she will be a new face on the Board of Education once she is sworn in. Wilkes ran to replace longtime board member Stephanie McCall, who did not seek re-election. Seats on the Board of Education are voted on by the entire county, however, only residents of the three districts, Highlands, Nantahala, and Franklin, can run for their designated seats.
The Franklin area seat up for election was held by incumbent Jim Breedlove, who has served the last 12 years on the Board of Education, most of which he has spent serving as Chairman. Breedlove secured 8,138 votes, or 47.22 percent, securing his re-election. Challenger Matt Mason received 5,551 or 32.31 percent and Emily Ritter received 3,468 or 20.12 percent of the vote.
The Macon County Board of Education is a non-partisan race, with candidates running without their party affiliation being listed.
When Breedlove announced his re-election campaign he noted that it would be his last term serving the board and something he felt he wanted to see through until the end.
“I am deeply appreciative and very humbled by the level of support shown to me by the many voters in our community,” said Breedlove. “I will stand by my ongoing pledge and promise to always be guided by the principle of making decisions that are in the best interest of the students.I value and welcome your comments and suggestions both now and in the future as we move forward together in strengthening education in Macon County.”
With Wilkes joining the Board of Education, the board will be comprised of Fred Goldsmith, Tommy Cabe, Melissa Evans, Jim Breedlove, and Hilary Wilkes.
*Editor’s Note: This is part of our ongoing Election 2020 result series covering everything from winners of races to the role and functions of the Electoral College.