Countdown is on for General Election

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 30, 2004

Election officials throughout the Roanoke-Chowan area are bracing for the possibility of one of the highest voter turnouts in recent history.

Judging from the response of their respective One-Stop voting processes – where upwards to eight percent of registered voters opted to cast their ballots early in order to beat the rush – Tuesday’s General Election may prove extremely busy in Bertie, Hertford and Northampton counties.

With heated races on three fronts – President, U.S. Senate and Governor – Tuesday’s turnout may approach record levels.

While there are several incumbent candidates running for local countywide offices, there’s only one facing opposition. That two-person race is found in Northampton County where incumbent Register of Deeds Pauline Deloatch, a Democrat, squares off against Hazel Hobbs, an Unaffiliated newcomer.

Also in Northampton, James Hester, a political newcomer, and incumbent Virginia Spruill are running unopposed for County Commissioner, as is Gaston native Michael Wray for the District 27 N.C. House of Representatives seat.

William A. Stephenson is unopposed for a seat on the Northampton County Soil and Water Board of Supervisors.

Incumbent NC District 4 State Senator Robert Holloman’s name will also appear on the Northampton ballot, as it will in Bertie and Hertford counties. He is unopposed.

Voters will all three counties will be able to cast ballots for a pair of local District 6B judges – Superior Court Judge Cy A. Grant and District Court Judge Thomas R.J. Newbern. Both are running unopposed.

There are no head-to-head local battles in either Bertie or Hertford counties where all the incumbents are running unopposed.

In Bertie County, Belinda S. White is on the ballot for reelection as Register of Deeds. Likewise, incumbent County Commissioners Lewis (L.C.) Hoggard and Norman M. Cherry Sr. will be listed on the ballot, even though neither faces opposition.

There is no opposition in six races on Hertford County’s local portion of a busy ballot.

Incumbent Kathleen Ward Wright is unopposed in her quest to earn another term as Hertford County’s Register of Deeds.

The race for three seats on the Hertford County Board of Commissioners was decided during the July Democratic Primary. Those three winners – incumbent DuPont Davis along with newcomers Howard J. Hunter III and John E. Pierce – face no Republican opposition on Tuesday.

Incumbent School Board members J. Wendell Hall and David L. Shields are unopposed, as is L.M. &uot;Jack&uot; Brinkley Jr. for the Hertford County Soil and Water Board of Supervisors.

In a race for State House of Representatives in District 5, incumbent Democrat Howard Hunter Jr. is opposed by Larry Cooke Jr. of the Libertarian Party. Local voters in Bertie and Hertford counties will choose between those two.

The remainder of Tuesday’s General Election ballot in all three counties are state and national races. They are as follows:

For President and Vice President of the United States – John F. Kerry and John Edwards (DEM); George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (REP); or Michael Badnarik and Richard Campagna (LIB).

For United States Senate – Erskine Bowles (DEM); Richard Burr (REP); or Tom Bailey (LIB).

For U.S. House of Representatives – G.K. Butterfield (DEM); or Greg Dority (REP).

For Governor of North Carolina – Mike Easley (DEM); Patrick J. Ballantine (REP); or Barbara Howe (LIB).

For Lt. Governor of North Carolina – Beverly Eaves Perdue (DEM); Jim Snyder (REP); or Christopher Cole (LIB).

For N.C. Attorney General – Roy Cooper (DEM); or Joe Knott (REP).

For N.C. Auditor – Ralph Campbell (DEM); or Leslie Merritt (REP).

For N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture – Britt Cobb (DEM); or Steve Troxler (REP).

For N.C. Commissioner of Insurance – Jim Long (DEM); or C. Robert Brawley (REP).

For N.C. Commissioner of Labor – Wayne Goodwin (DEM); or Cherie Berry (REP).

For Secretary of State – Elaine F. Marshall (DEM); or Jay Rao (REP).

For Superintendent of Public Instruction – June S. Atkinson (DEM); or Bill Fletcher (REP).

For State Treasurer – Richard H. Moore (DEM); or Edward A. Meyer (REP).

Votes will also be cast for several nonpartisan seats within the North Carolina Judicial System. They are as follows:

For Associate Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court – Sarah Parker or John M. Tyson.

For Associate Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court – Ronnie Ansley, Rachel Lea Hunter, Howard E. Manning Jr., Betsy McCrodden, Fred Morrison Jr., Paul Martin Newby, Marvin Schiller or James A. Wynn Jr.

For Court of Appeals Judge – Linda McGee or Bill Parker.

For Court of Appeals Judge – Wanda G. Bryant or Alice C. Stubbs.

For Court of Appeals Judge – Barbara Jackson or Alan Thornburg.

Local voters will also help pass or fail a trio of State Constitutional Amendments. The first is for/against giving local counties, cities and towns the power to finance public improvements in development districts through the use of tax revenues. The second is for/against allowing the General Assembly to use clear proceeds of civil penalties, civil forfeitures and civil fines to be used exclusively for maintaining free public schools. The third is for/against an amendment that provides for the first term of office for a magistrate to be two years and for subsequent terms to be four years.

Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. in all three counties.