Pierce avoids run-off

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 29, 2004

Winton native is official winner in HC Commissioners race

By Cal Bryant

WINTON – It’s official – John Pierce will not face a run-off against Brenda Greene for the Hertford County Board of Commissioners District 3 seat.

By a scant 10 votes, Pierce exceeded the 40 percent barrier he needed to avoid a run-off. Pierce, the challenger, was officially credited with 1,286 votes following Tuesday’s state-mandated canvass of all Hertford County precincts. That total represented 40.3 percent of the 3,190 overall votes cast in the District 3 Commissioners race.

Greene, the incumbent, was officially named on 1,116 ballots (35 percent of the vote) during the July 20 Primary election.

As far as a possible recount is concerned – Pierce defeated Greene by 170 votes – that is out of the realm of possibility, according to Hertford County Board of Elections Director Shelia Fleetwood.

&uot;In order for a candidate to ask for a recount, that candidate must be within one percent of the candidate that received the highest number of votes,&uot; explained Fleetwood. &uot;In the case of the District 3 Commissioners race here in Hertford County, Mr. Pierce received 40 percent compared to 35 percent for Mrs. Greene. Therefore, she cannot call for a recount because she finished more than one percent behind Mr. Pierce.&uot;

For Pierce, he was delighted to hear that a run-off would not be necessary.

&uot;I’ll tell you how close this was…I had already began to map out my campaign strategy for a run-off against Mrs. Greene,&uot; he said. &uot;Now that the canvass numbers are official, it’s a big relief for me. I sweated this thing out. Even when people called me after the (July 20) Primary and congratulated me for winning, I thanked them for the call, but also told them that I hadn’t won anything just yet.&uot;

With no opposition in November’s General Election, Pierce can look forward to taking the oath of office in December.

&uot;Come December, I’m ready to go to work for the people of Hertford County,&uot; stated Pierce, a 34-year veteran of Northrop Grumman/Newport News where he serves the world-famous shipbuilding corporation as its Senior Operations Coordinator.

&uot;My job and my lifelong love of Hertford County and its people have prepared me for this stage in my life,&uot; noted Pierce who handles finance, budget and employment with Northrop Grumman. &uot;Ask anybody and they’ll tell you that I love to work. I feel I can take that work ethic and help shape the future of Hertford County, a future I envision as a bright one with the right leadership.&uot;

For Pierce, the election triumph lays to rest the thought of just how close he previously came to serving as a County Commissioner. Two years ago, he was endorsed by the Hertford County Democratic Party as that organization’s nominee to fill the unexpired term of Commissioner Robert Holloman, who resigned his seat after winning election to the North Carolina State Senate. However, the Hertford County Commissioners went against the Party’s candidate of choice, instead selecting Greene to fill out the final two years of Holloman’s term on the Board.

&uot;I’ll make no comment on that other than to say that the voters of Hertford County have spoken and they are the ones whose collective voices we should be listening to,&uot; Pierce concluded. &uot;The voters are the leaders of Hertford County. They make the decisions when it comes to appointing those who will act as the caretakers of Hertford County, a job I will take very seriously with their blessings.&uot;