CORNELIUS – After missing re-election by two votes in 2011, Thurman Ross Jr. was voted back on Cornelius Town Board of Commissioners on Nov. 5.

Prior to the 2011 election, Ross served on the board 16 years, and after the two-year break, he said he’s “ready to go back to work.”

“I was told a lot of people assumed I was just going to be back on the board since I had been there so long,” he said. “But I explained to them I still have to go through the process … They came out and showed their love and support this time.”

Ross said a grassroots effort and personally reaching out to more constituents made the difference in this election.

Ross received 1,394 votes, or 11.33 percent. John Bradford III, who edged Ross out in 2011, received 1,590 votes, or 12.92 percent.

Both incumbents, Bradford and Dave Gilroy were re-elected. Gilroy received 1,717 votes, or 13.95 percent.

Woody Washam Jr. finished first in the Cornelius race with 1,990 votes, or 16.17 percent. He and Jim Duke will be new faces to the board. Duke received 1,284 votes, or 10.43 percent.

Running a “straight-up honest” campaign, past service experience and skills and openness with citizens brought in the win, Duke said.

“We ran on a record,” he said. “We ran on what we’ve done for our community – people saw that voted for us.”

Duke and Bradford hired a political consultant, Larry Scheen of Carolina Consulting, to assist in the race.

“He kept us on track, on message, provided the kind of logistical support a professional would provide,” Duke said. “He also kept us legal, kept us honest, told us what we could and couldn’t do and emphasized to tell the truth, stay on message and don’t get sucked into an argument. It just paid off for us brilliantly.”

Commissioner Chuck Travis will become mayor as he ran unopposed. Outgoing Mayor Lynette Rinker did not run and said earlier this year that she was seeking a higher office.




Chuck Travis (Mayor)


94.08 %

Woody Washam, Jr.


16.17 %

Dave Gilroy


13.95 %

John Bradford III


12.92 %

Thurman Ross, Jr.


11.33 %

Jim Duke


10.43 %