By Brian Graves, Staff Writer
Friday, November 9, 2012 —
Stanly County businessman Peter Asciutto started out the night with a big lead and never looked back.
Asciutto won the open seat on Stanly County Commission with 16,571 votes.
Incumbent Commissioner Tony Dennis retained his position, coming in second with 13,665 votes.
Jim Lisk posted third with 10,716 votes and Stanly County School Board member Tracey Wyrick came in last with 9,775 votes.
Those numbers and percentage margins held steady throughout the counting process as the precincts were reported.
Both Asciutto and Dennis were the Republicans in the race and were helped by 63 percent of the voters casting straight party ballots.
Of the four candidates, only Asciutto and Lisk came to the Commons as the votes were tallied.
Asciutto had run on a platform of giving more transparency to county government.
“I am pretty much overwhelmed,” Asciutto said after the final totals showed his victory.
He added he never imagined getting the large number that placed him at the top.
“It was gratifying to get so much support from Republicans, Democrats and the unaffiliated voters and I appreciate it very much,” he said.
Asciutto said he felt the ideas he had about opening up the local government had a great deal to do with his ascension to the commission.
He said voters were telling him “their voices weren’t heard.”
“They felt there are people who had been there for a while and it was like a little clique,” he said.
“They just wanted somebody who would come in and research materials, was able to listen to people, and try to formulate their own opinion without having someone else’s influence.”
He said there were a lot of people upset with “the jobs that walked away with ALCOA.”
“That’s one of the biggest things I heard out there,” he said.
“My campaign was about how I sell shoes to Democrats, Republicans and independents,” he said.
“I’m ging to try to represent them all and be a voice for all the citizens of Stanly County.”
He also talked about the first thing he would want to ask County Manager Andy Lucas or Commission Chairman Lindsay Dunevant.
“I’d like to get the minutes from the closed door sessions on ALCOA over the last six years,” he said.
“That’s a very important topic and I’d like to look those over before I’m sworn in if possible.”
The SNAP has confirmed that Asciutto did send an e-mail to Lucas Wednesday morning with that request.
“The other thing I would like to do is have a work day where I work in different departments throughout the county,” he said.
“That would help me learn more about the county government and also write a blog to help explain to the people where their tax dollars are going.”
Asciutto said there isn’t one main topic to focus on since there are so many parts to the local government.
“The county government is as diversified as my store,” he said.
“You have to look at all aspects with public safety, and public health.
“There was the problem with the dog ordinance that was not resolved. Evidently, there was a problem because you know the essence to that question is what do you do with a dog that keeps being a nuisance to the neighbor.”
Asciutto said he has had overwhelming support from throughout the community.
“The only support I really haven’t had was from some people in the leadership of the Republican Party,” Asciutto said.
But, he says he will be able to work with his fellow commissioners.
“I have been critical of the way they have handled the ALCOA situation and their transparency,” he said.
“It happens all the time where outsiders get put on boards and they find ways to work together.
“I’ve never had anything personal against the people (on the commission). I just disagreed with the policies they’re promoting.”
Attempts to contact Commissioner Dennis for his reaction to being re-elected were unsuccessful.