Voters in Winston have elected Dick Hayes mayor. Hayes received 54.3 percent of the vote compared to his opponent, Gary Vess, who received 43.6 percent, according to unofficial final results released Wednesday morning.
Hayes was appointed mayor in 2017 after former mayor Kenneth Barrett was arrested and convicted of online sexual corruption of a minor and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Hayes is a retired builder and developer who has lived in Winston for 23 years. Hayes served on the Winston City Council for 15 years prior to being appointed mayor.
“I’m glad I won and that people in town supported me,” Hayes said.
He was also glad to see that Vess received a substantial number of votes.
“It showed me that a lot of people in Winston are interested in what’s going on at the city level,” Hayes said.
He plans to reach out to Vess in the weeks to come to hear about how they can collaborate on issues facing the city. He wants to know what Vess’ supporters wanted to change about the city so he can govern better.
“He’s a nice guy and I have nothing bad to say about him,” Hayes said.
As mayor, Hayes wants to ensure the financial stability of the city and spend money wisely. He said he will look to apply for grants to help that goal.
Incumbent city councilors Dorie White and Scott Rutter will keep their seats on the council after running unopposed.