High turnout, GOP ground game impacts contested municipal races

Hailey Lee, left, and current Asheboro School board member Gidget Kidd react to Lee winning a seat on the Asheboro City School board Tuesday, November 2, 2021 (The North State Journal)

ASHEBORO — Municipal races in Randolph County are technically non-partisan races but the presence of partisan poll workers and field operations in this year’s Asheboro races proved that politics is rarely without partisan influence. In this year’s race for Asheboro City School board, the county Republican Party endorsed four candidates and sent mailers on behalf of their preferred candidates. Those four candidates — incumbents Baxter Hammer and Beth Knott and newcomers Hailey Trollinger Lee and Adam Hurley — won by wide margins. High turnout – possibly field by the GOP ground game – buoyed certain candidates and pushed victory margins.

Asheboro City Councilman Walker Moffitt, left, and Randolph County GOP chairman Rick Smith at the board of elections on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. (The North State Journal)

In the Asheboro City Council race, the lone Republican — incumbent Walker Moffitt — won the most votes of any candidate. Moffit and the four school board winners had their names on yellow cards that GOP field operatives were passing out at the polls.

“I am appreciative of Asheboro Republicans who turned out in support of our endorsed candidates,” said GOP chairman Rick Smith in an interview with North State Journal. “It’s clear they don’t want Asheboro students to be divided or labeled by the color of their skin. Hopefully this vote will challenge the Board and school administration to abandon any programs or policies which might lead to that outcome.”

Smith referenced the topics of critical race theory and so-called diversity panels that were heavily debated around Asheboro prior to the election.

Adam Hurley, who won his first attempt at public office, told North State Journal in October that issues surrounding “equity and inclusion” were one of the reasons he ran for the school board. “I credit the win to the people of Asheboro seeing what is at stake and taking a stand for our children,” said Hurley. “The people have spoken and they don’t want progressive ideology in the classroom.”

Hailey Trollinger Lee and her husband Justin Lee celebrate her win the 2021 school board race at the Randolph County Board of Election on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. (The North State Journal)

Hailey Trollinger Lee, who told NSJ she was against teaching critical race theory in schools, said she was humbled to be elected to the board. “I’m grateful for all of those who have supported me and helped encourage me throughout this process,” Lee said. “Thanks to everyone who came out to vote over the last several weeks. This really means a lot to me and I am looking forward to putting in the work for our district.”



By Moore County Staff

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