Carter captures council seat

By Thomas Wilson
star staff

  Bill J. Carter's "interim" service on Elizabethton City Council has been changed to full-time status.
  Carter unofficially defeated Judy Donley to win a seat on the City Council in a special city election on Thursday's ballot. According to unofficial voting totals of the Carter County Election Commission, Carter earned 1,116 votes to 428 votes cast for Donley including early voting and absentee totals.
  "I am just thankful the people of the city of Elizabethton have cast their vote for me," Carter said Thursday night. "I didn't dream I'd do this well.
  "It is good to win like this and I appreciate the people voting for me."
  The City Council appointed Carter in April 2003 to serve the unexpired term of the late Diane Morris who died in February 2003 after a long bout with cancer. Morris died little more than three months after being elected to her second term on the council.
  Carter worked as a volunteer fireman in 1952 before joining the city fire department in 1957. He spent eight years eating smoke and was named a fire captain in 1965. He was named assistant chief in 1970 and later became the department chief in 1982, where he served until his retirement.
  Donley is active in county Republican politics and sought the GOP nomination for the 4th District House seat four years ago.
  Carter's election win gave the former fire chief a two-year to the council. He will be eligible to for a full four-year term in 2006. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Carter County 911 Communications District. A lifelong resident of Elizabethton, Carter and his wife Roberta have one daughter, Tina, and one granddaughter, Courtney.
  Carter said he wanted to see continued infrastructure improvements around the city including street resurfacing and a better sidewalk system. He also said the planned demolition of the Carter County Memorial Hospital could facilitate development in the city.
  "I want to see that we get better jobs for our people and improvement our technology in the city," Carter said.
  The seats held by sitting council members Nancy Alsup, Sam LaPorte and Richard Sammons will be on the ballot in the city election in November.
  In the city of Watauga election, Mickey Fair and Tom Sams won two at large seats on the City Commission. A commission appointee, Fair led a three-man field of candidates earning 61 votes while incumbent Sams took 29 votes to edge candidate Will Pippin who received 24 votes.