The two lone Democrats left on the Chatham County Board of Commissioners were re-elected Tuesday night, according to unofficial results.
With all 19 precincts reporting, District 1 commissioner Sally Kost defeated Republican environmental scientist Don Shilesky 54 to 46 percent. Kost, a former budget director for Orange County, has been on the five-member board since 2008 and previously served as chair.
District 2 commissioner Mike Cross won re-election with 56 percent of the vote, compared to Republican Bill Crawfords 44 percent. Cross is a former Navy officer who was elected to the Board of Commissioners in 2004.
Cross pledged to work with Republican commissioners Brian Bock, Pamela Stewart and Walter Petty, who came to office in a Republican sweep in 2010 on promises to cut spending and reverse what they said were restrictive development decisions made by the formerly all-Democratic board.
We have made a few compromises in the past few years, Cross said. I hope we can work together and do whats best for all citizens of the county, rather than play just strictly party lines.
Kost and Cross have dissented on several key decisions made by the Board of Commissioners since the 2010 changeover.
Kost was the lone dissenting vote in a December 2010 decision to extend permits for commercial and residential development projects that had stalled as the economy grew worse.
Kost and Cross have since disagreed with the majority of the board on issues ranging from environmental protection to charter schools.