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Chance, Graves win seats on school board

Two new candidates will join the Stanly County Board of Education following Tuesday night’s election, including newcomer Anthony Williams Graves and former board member Jeff Chance.

Anthony Graves

Graves (R-Albemarle) faced Joanne Neel Hesley (D-Albemarle). He won 64.72 percent of the vote (14,151 votes) while Hesley took home 35.28 percent (7,713), according to the unofficial election results posted online by the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.

“I’m obviously pleased about the results tonight,” Graves said Tuesday. “I’m excited to get to work. But I would like to thank all of the people that came out and supported me, and worked the polls, and put their trust and faith in me to work with the current school board and administration to restore Stanly County schools to a place of prominence in North Carolina.

“I also want to congratulate all of the other winners in tonight’s contest,” he added. “It’s difficult for everyone who steps up to run for public office, and everyone deserves credit regardless of whether they won or lost.

Joanne Hesley

Hesley also commented on Tuesday night.

“Yes, I’m very disappointed in the election results,” Hesley said via text. “I hate that I will not get the opportunity to serve the children of Stanly County. But I’m also glad to move on and spend more time with my family with no drama. Peace to all. Thank you to all that supported me and put in numerous hours at the polls.”
Chance (R-Locust) could not comment due to a personal emergency. He ran unopposed.

Jeff Chance

All three candidates had spoken in favor of a controversial quarter-cent sales tax increase intended to create funding to boost the security and safety of county schools. That increase narrowly passed on Tuesday night.

Chance served two previous four-year terms as a school board member. In October, he told The Stanly News & Press that he looked forward to touring the schools and meeting with administration after the election.

Imari Scarbrough is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News and Press.