Experience wins in Conover

Conover voters chose experience Tuesday, electing two incumbents and a former elected official to serve on the city council.

Those winners say they're ready to put that experience to work for the betterment of Conover.

Incumbent Don Beal led all vote-getters with 591 votes. Incumbent Kyle Hayman followed with 584. Bruce Eckard received the third-most votes with 458.

"I appreciate the trust (voters) have put in us and it's not something we take lightly," Beal said. "We will build a solid team and accelerate growth with this team."

Hayman said it was nerve-racking to watch the election results roll in.
"People come out and cast their vote for an individual to make sound decisions and that's something I don't take lightly," he said. "I've had an opportunity to serve with some great people and it's been an honor to serve. We're going to continue to work hard moving forward."

The experience voters chose Tuesday, Hayman said, means the city board will have less of a learning curve moving into the next term.

Eckard has served Conover 24 of the past 26 years, either as mayor or a city councilman.

"I will be able to step in (to Penny Corpening's) seat and make progress," Eckard said. "I think I can help reach out to business and industry and help create more jobs for our citizens."

Eckard said Conover's involvement in the creation of a multi-jurisdictional park is something he hopes to work on immediately.
Jeff Byrd — who received 77 votes in the election and did not win a seat — said he was encouraged that Conover had six people on the ballot.

"I'm glad that the town of Conover is able to have so many people of diverse opinions to be able to choose from," Byrd said. "I congratulate Don, Bruce and Kyle and I know they'll give 110 percent for the betterment of Conover. I will be back in two years for 2013 for city council again."

Kim Cline, who tallied 298 votes, said she looks forward to continuing her public service as a member of the Newton-Conover City Schools Board of Education.

"We have the new middle school opening," Cline said. "I look forward to that, and I like to be in touch with the day-to-day things that are happening in the schools to make a difference in the things that matter to the kids."