A political newcomer in the Rocky Mount District on Tuesday defeated an incumbent with 20 years experience on the Franklin County Board of Supervisors.

Voters chose small-business owner Mike Carter over Charles Wagner, who serves as the board’s vice chairman.

Carter, 59, said he campaigned on the premise that the board needed a change. “And I think the voters have responded,” he said.

The candidate celebrated the news with family and friends at his Rocky Mount business, Carter’s Fine Jewelers and Gifts.

“It’s an exciting night for Franklin County and I’ll tell you I’m ready to go to work for the citizens of my county to make it better,” Carter said.

Carter said he wants to see a career and technical education center built and will work to bring companies to the Summit View business park. He pledged support for the county sheriff and school superintendent.

In the Boone District, incumbent Ronnie Thompson came out ahead of challenger Ian Reilly, a first-time candidate. Thompson was first elected to the board of supervisors in 2009.

“I’m ready to go,” Thompson said. “That’s why I ran again.”

Thompson said his positions on the county’s projects have remained constant. He looks forward to developing the business park and wants to move forward with career and technical education at the high school, though he acknowledged there are challenges to funding that project.

Leland Mitchell, who ran unopposed, earned his fourth term as a supervisor for the Snow Creek district.

School board

Jeff Worley, an employee with the U.S. Postal Service, won the four-way race to represent the Rocky Mount District on the Franklin County School Board.

Worley, 48, said he kept a close eye on the State Board of Elections website Tuesday . “We just kept refreshing it,” he said.

Worley said he’s ready to get started and work with the other board members.

Worley was up against Sherry Scott, an employee of Carilion Clinic and former school social worker; John Carey, an English professor at Ferrum College; and Rita Murphy, a retired teacher.

“I feel very lucky because all of those candidates were very qualified,” Worley said. “I know them and they were all good people with great qualifications, so I feel extraordinarily lucky that I came out ahead, I really do.”

Incumbents G.B. Washburn and Penny Blue, who hold the Snow Creek and at-large seats, respectively, were both re-elected. Neither faced a challenger. Donna Cosmato, who ran unopposed, will represent the Boone District.

Mixed drink referendum

A referendum to allow the sale of mixed drinks in the town of Boones Mill overwhelmingly passed. The effort to bring liquor by the drink to the small town was led by Franklin County Distilleries, which is already producing liquor but plans to open a tasting room off U.S. 220.

Despite the county’s unofficial title as moonshine capital of the world, liquor by the drink was never adopted for the entirety of Franklin County. After a countywide referendum failed in 1988, the General Assembly passed a law allowing magisterial districts to vote on the issue.

The sale of mixed drinks is permitted in the town of Rocky Mount, the Gills Creek, Union Hall and Blue Ridge magisterial districts and, as of Tuesday, the town of Boones Mill. However, the distillery will have to wait at least 30 days before it can open its tasting room.

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Casey Fabris covers business for The Roanoke Times, where she has been a reporter since 2015. Previously, Casey covered Franklin County.

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