Challengers dot Northampton field

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 4, 2003

JACKSON – When the deadline ended at 12 noon on Friday for those seeking political office within the nine Northampton County municipalities, nearly one-half (18) of those filing for the Nov. 4 election were listed as challengers. There are a combined 44 municipal seats up for reelection in the county.

With the exception of Severn, voters in each Northampton County town will have a choice for their respective Town Commissioners. The Town of Gaston has a race for both mayor and seats on the Town Commission.

At 1:33 p.m. on Friday (93 minutes after the books had closed on the filing process), Northampton County Board of Elections Director Sandra Barnes reported the following:

Conway – Mayor Brian E. Bolton is running unopposed. The field is crowded for the five seats available on Conway’s Town Commission as incumbents Billy Joyner, George E. Clark, Peggy L. Davis and Johnny Martin will be challenged by newcomers Alan Harris, Lynmore Gay and Carroll Futrell. Gay is a former member of the Northampton County Board of Education.

Garysburg – Incumbent Mayor Roy L. Bell has re-filed and is not challenged for the position. Newcomers Jearline Brown and Iris Williams Wilson join incumbents Sabrina Clark Thomas, James M. Mayo and Lola S. Ausby for the five seats on the Town Commission.

Gaston – Newcomer Norman Benjamin will challenge incumbent Mayor Billy W. Melton. Six individuals have filed for Gaston’s five Commissioner seats – incumbents Danny E. Tolbert, Billy W. Martin, Louise Bailey and Donald W. Conner along with challengers Michael A. Phelps and Wade Moseley.

Jackson – Incumbent Commissioners Bill Futrell Jr. and Stevie Harrell face opposition from challengers Fred W. Harper and Garry Elliott for the two seats up for the election. Incumbent Mayor John F. McKellar is running unopposed.

Lasker – Challenger Robin Alan Gibson is seeking one of the three Town Commission seats, as are incumbents Brenda J. Whitley and Charles M. Daughtry Jr. Filing for another term as Lasker’s Mayor is Dick Collier, who is not challenged for that seat.

Rich Square – Former mayor John E. Pellam Sr. along with Doris E. Risper will challenge incumbents Eugene W. Brown Jr., Charles M. Eason, William Earl Daniels, William F. Parker and Reginald White for the five seats up for election on the Town Commission. Incumbent Mayor Nannie O. Branch is running unopposed as she seeks her second term in office.

Seaboard – Three individuals – incumbents Reid V. Garris II and Woodrow B. Lockhart Sr. along with newcomer William Lee Grant – have filed for the two seats open for election on the Town Commission. Veteran Seaboard Mayor Melvin F. Broadnax is not up for reelection this year.

Severn – The incumbents in this northern Northampton County town are unopposed in their quest for reelection – Mayor George H. McGee along with Commissioners Frank Ferguson, Harold L. Garris, Eloise P. Martin, George R. Francis and Parker Watson.

Woodland: A race has developed for the four seats up for election on the Town Commission. Incumbents Thomosena T. Boone and Beth B. Phillips will be challenged by newcomers David L. Cooper, Vicki Lane Knapp, Jean T. Barnes and Les Clark. Incumbent Mayor Margaret E. Burgwyn is running unopposed.