Incumbents withstand challenges

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 5, 2003

At the close of the various precincts within Northampton County, residents cast their final votes for the offices of mayor and town commissioners in Tuesday’s municipal elections.

Unofficial results from the towns began pouring in shortly after polling locations rolled up the carpets at 7:30 p.m.

As of yet, absentee ballots have not been added to the unofficial counts, but will be reflected at 11 a.m. tomorrow when the votes at each polling location are canvassed.

The first unofficial results came from Lasker, which had three candidates running for three commissioner positions while incumbent (I) Mayor Dick Collier was unopposed.

The mayor carried 24 out of 25 total votes, with no known write-ins, while all three candidates running for the town commissioner seats were voted in as follows: (I) Brenda J. Whitley 24 votes, Challenger (C) Robin A. Gibson 23 votes and (I) Charles M. Daughtry, Jr. with 21 votes.

Garysburg polls saw 16 percent voter turnout with a total of 112 out of 114 residents casting their ballots for (I) Mayor Roy L. Bell giving him uncontested victory and affording him another term as the town’s mayor.

All incumbents running for Garysburg Council Seats were re-elected, hands down, for an additional term along with the new faces of challengers Iris Williams Wilson with 101 votes, in second place behind (I) Lola M. Ausby with 103 votes, and challenger Jearline Brown tying (I) James M. Mayo with 100 votes. Incumbent commissioner Sabrina Clark Thomas took in 94 votes, thus filling all available council seats.

The town of Gaston witnessed six write-in candidates for mayor and four write-in candidates for the existing commissioner seats, having a turnout of 82 voters, about 24 percent.

Mayoral write-ins included Ron Brooks with 38 votes, Brian Smith, Danny Copeland, Harold Ray, Leon Wheeler and Joe Ellis all with one vote.

Coming away with the majority vote was (I) Mayor Billy W. Melton with 107 ballots. Incumbent commissioner Danny Tolbert took the lead for council seat with 120 votes, followed by challenger Mike Phelps with 109 votes.

Gaston incumbents Donald W. Conner and (I) Billy W. Martin each mustered 103 votes. Challenger Wade Moseley took fifth place with 89 votes, unseating (I) council member Louise M. Bailey who brought in 38 votes.

Write-in candidate Deborah James nearly tied the unseated commissioner with a total of 37 votes while additional write-ins, Brian Smith, Martha James and Ralph Knowles brought in one vote each.

In conjunction with the mayoral and council vote for Gaston, the Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District, which services the town in addition to the Roanoke Rapids area in Halifax County, had three seats available on its board.

Elected with 112 votes, Ron Brooks took the lead, followed by James &uot;Jim&uot; Bailey and Dwight King for the other two seats, tying votes at 73.

Other candidates included Macon Reavis with 66 votes, Stan Dalton with 65 votes and Jeffery W. Smith with 48 votes.

Total voter turnout registered at 174 voters, putting the town’s percentage at a 29 percent overall total.

Jackson’s (I) Mayor John F. McKellar was re-elected to serve another term with 76 votes in his favor and write-in candidate and mother Doris McKellar receiving two votes.

Incumbent commissioners William &uot;Bill&uot; Futrell, Jr. and Stevie Harrell held their positions for another term with 66 and 54 votes, leaving challengers Fred W. Harper with 28 votes and Gary Elliot with 11 votes to pursue other goals until possibly running again in the town’s next election.

Incumbent Mayor George McGee will serve an additional term in his position in the Town of Severn as 45 out of 45 voters re-elected him to over see the affairs of their town. All five incumbent commissioners seeking re-election have maintained their seats and will continue to accompany McGee in serving the town for an additional term.

Commissioner George R. Francis took the lead with 44 votes, followed by Eloise P. Martin with 43 votes.

Parker Watson and Frank Ferguson tied votes at 39 with Harold Garris taking in 37 votes.

The highest voter turnout occurred in Rich Square with a total of 48 percent of voters showing up to cast their ballots followed closely by Lasker with 39 percent and 32 percent in Severn. The lowest percentage recorded in Garysburg.

&uot;Everything went off without a hitch at all the polling locations,&uot; said Board of Elections Director Tonya Pitts.

&uot;We’ve had very good turnout and in some places we had more than expected, considering that it was a municipal election.&uot;

Pitts was accompanied by former director and &uot;mentor&uot; Sandra Barnes and two new members to the board, Democrat Hamilton Darden, a retiree from UPS and resident of Pleasant Hill, and Democrat Mary Anne Bolton, a retired banking associate from Woodland.

&uot;This is a very interesting position working with the board,&uot; said Darden.

Both Darden and Bolton said they look forward to serving the community in their new roles.

&uot;I want to express my sincere thanks to all those who contributed for their hard work and dedication to Northampton County,&uot; said Pitts.

&uot;Many of these people who have devoted their time and energy are retired citizens of the county.

They have put in long days, some of them taking days off from working or other activities to serve.

These are dedicated people.&uot;

Please note that all results are unofficial until all votes are officially canvassed on Friday at 11 a.m.