Recount set for Monday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 12, 2005

JACKSON – Northampton County elections officials will conduct a recount for two towns in the county here Monday.

According to Elections Director Tonya B. Pitts, the Board decided this week to hold the recounts because two elections in the county ended in close counts.

Law requires a recount in the Gaston race where two candidates are tied for the fifth and final seat on the board and another is a mere four votes away. It is not required in Conway where one vote separates a pair of candidates, but the Board decided to conduct the recount because of the close finish.

In Gaston, Wade Moseley and Becky Sykes are tied with 107 votes each after the initial election count before provisional ballots have been certified.

Moseley ran for Gaston Commissioner in 2001, but fell short of winning a seat on the board as he finished sixth in the race. Sykes is a newcomer to the political process in Gaston.

Those two are four votes ahead of former mayor Billy Melton, who resigned in protest a month ago.

Four candidates have secured seats on the town board, according to unofficial results. They are incumbents Louis Bailey (142 votes), Mike Phelps (115) and Donald W. Conner (113). Newcomer Deboarah Lee James has preliminarily secured a spot on the Board with 114 votes.

Incumbent Commissioner Billy Martin didn’t seek reelection and incumbent Commissioner Danny Tolbert was elected mayor with 117 of 173 votes, according to unofficial results.

In the Conway race, the election of newcomer Andy Woodard means at least one incumbent commissioner will not return to the Board. Woodard was Tuesday’s highest vote-getter in unofficial returns with 98 votes.

Two incumbents, Alan Conn Harris and Lynmore Gay are separated by a mere one vote after unofficial balloting. Harris has 67 votes while Gay had 66.

Three other incumbents will return to the Board, according to the preliminary results. They are George Clark (82 votes), Peggy Davis (74) and William R. &uot;Billy&uot; Joyner (71).

No provisional ballots are figured into the current outcomes of the election as they do not become official ballots until Tuesday’s canvass when election results are certified.

Another election that will not be over until votes are certified Tuesday is the Gaston Commissioner race.

Former Commissioner Sabrina Clark Thomas withdrew from the race, leaving only four candidates for five town board seats.

That means the fifth seat will be decided among the 31 write-in votes cast for commissioner. Those votes will not be released until they are certified Tuesday.

The four Garysburg incumbents were reelected easily as Lola Ausby received 90 votes, James Mayo (89), Jearline Brown (86) and Iris F. Williams (85).

The recount Monday is open to the public and the candidates.