Gunnin easily sailed by Hubbard 1,107, or 57.2 percent of the votes, to 828, or 42.8 percent, in the county’s only runoff election.
Turnout was light in the 11 precincts to cast votes in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff.
There were 1,936 voters, or about 5.4 percent, who cast their ballot Tuesday, with 35,882 registered voters eligible in the election.
Voters in Air Acres, Arnold Mill, Avery, Bradshaw, Hickory Flat, Little River, Mountain Road, Neese, Union Hill, Univeter and Woodlands precincts were able to participate in the runoff.
Election Supervisor Janet Munda said turnout was about what she expected and believed the single race possibly had an influence on voters.
She said some voters from the Macedonia community were initially surprised they could not vote in the race during the primary, but no incidents or major confusions were reported at the polls Tuesday.
“With the huge redistricting, I think there has been very minimal confusion,” Munda said. “We went through a lot, but I think it’s all turned out fine.”
Hubbard and Gunnin edged out Woodstock attorney Channing Ruskell in a three-man race on July 31 to face each other in the runoff.
Hubbard, 67, joined the board in 2005 on a platform of planned growth. Hubbard was a volunteer firefighter in Cherokee County for 37 years and served on numerous boards within county government before being elected.
Gunnin, 52, was with Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services for 32 years before retiring earlier this year.
Gunnin said he is looking forward to serving Cherokee residents again in his new role.
“I’m glad it’s over with,” Gunnin said. “It’s been a lot of hard work and I think now the really hard work begins.”
After seeing success his first campaign for office, Gunnin said his first course of action once taking his seat in January will be to take a look at the budget and talk with the county manager and department heads.
“I’ve been gone not quite a year and it’s going to take a while to get a grasp on things and get projects started,” Gunnin said.
Gunnin thanked all of his supporters, especially his wife, who he said kept him motivated throughout the campaign.
“I do feel like this is the path that God set me on, so we’ll see what’s in store,” Gunnin said.
Hubbard said he believed the low turnout affected the race.
“We couldn’t get our people motivated to get out,” Hubbard said. “His people were motivated, they knew they were the underdogs. Even though we did everything we needed to do, ours just didn’t get out.”
Hubbard was the top vote getter in the July primary.
Hubbard said his greatest concentration of support lies between the Mountain Road and Macedonia precincts. However, with the redistricting, Macedonia now votes for the District 1 commission seat.
“Those were the areas where the slow growth sentiment of (my) first election was the strongest,” Hubbard said.
Though he said the district-only voting made his campaign a lot easier, Hubbard said he does not like the new way of voting.
“I liked the fact that under the old way, everybody got to vote for three out of five commissioners,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard said he plans to continue to advocate for planned growth within the county to maintain lower infrastructure costs and lower taxes.
“It scares me what our taxes could do if we allow the unbridled growth that (was) happening in late ’90s and early 2000s. The first time we organized … people were able to change the tone of the board and go to more planned growth,” Hubbard said. “I hope the board will keep to the plan and keep our taxes low.”
* RAYMOND GUNNIN: 1,107 votes (57.2%)
* JIM HUBBARD: 828 votes (42.8%)
— 11 of 11 precincts reporting; Total votes cast: 1,936