Serving the people of District 1 as County Commissioner became a family tradition Tuesday night.

Joe David McReynolds received 57 percent of the vote to edge Larry Darter in the special election. The results are unofficial and will not be certified until Friday but as it stands, it will be McReynolds who will serve in the position his father Joe Dean held for 13 years until he passed away in 2003.

"I'm pretty emotional," McReynolds said. "It has been a hard, long campaign but I'm feeling pretty positive. Everything worked out and I just thank God for everything he has done for me. It is time to get to work."

McReynolds will take the place of Bill McLaughlin, who resigned because of health issues. Commissioners Kevin McReynolds and Dale Ott have provided oversight for the district since McLaughlin resigned in January. McReynolds said one of the first things he will do is meet with district employees.

"I need to sit down and talk with the employees and let them know what they can expect from me and what I will expect from them," he said. "Hopefully, we can get out and make a difference in our county. I will talk to Kevin and Dale and see if there is anything I need to do as I try to get my feet on the ground."

McReynolds said he will make the transition into the office over the next two weeks and will balance his duties with his job at Michelin.

"I will give my two weeks notice at Michelin and I am going to get involved in what we have gong on and see what we need to do on my days off," McReynolds said.

McReynolds took an early lead, receiving 67 votes to Darter's 19 in early voting. He also took a 19-9 advantage in absentee voting. With eight precincts reporting, McReynolds received 894 votes for a total of 980 while Darter received 734.

"I didn't know Larry Darter before the election," McReynolds said. "We kept it clean and I respect Larry. If I can help him in any way, if he has issues, I hope I can be of assistance and see what we can do for the betterment of the county.

"I just want to thank the people that got out and voted for me and supported me."

Michael Pineda