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Fairless withdraws Bertie Board of Education candidacy

WINDSOR – A veteran of the Bertie County Board of Education has decided not to seek reelection.

Seaton Fairless of Colerain, who has spent 16 years on the board, suddenly withdrew from this year’s race just moments after filing prior to Tuesday’s 12 noon deadline.

“It was the way the cards fell on Tuesday,” Fairless said in explaining why he withdrew. “I had filled out all the paperwork and just handed over my filing fee when this young man walked in. After asking him if he was going to file for the School Board and receiving a yes answer, I withdrew.”

The candidate Fairless made reference to is Michael Bracy, a Colerain resident who is the former principal of Ahoskie Elementary School.

“This is a young man with a great track record in the field of education, one that I feel can contribute a lot to Bertie County,” Fairless noted. “I see a lot of potential in him. He’s a fine man and will bring a lot to the table if elected.”

While Fairless said he would throw his full support behind Bracy, he stressed that if did not feel Bracy could do a good job, he would not have withdrawn his candidacy.

“I would have stayed right in there and fought this thing out with three people running,” Fairless said.

The third candidate is Dean Stephens, also of Colerain. Stephens is a member of Community Schools n SOS, a group currently petitioning Bertie County residents for support in trying to keep the Board of Education from closing three county elementary schools as part of their desegregation plan submitted to the Department of Justice.

As far as his future is concerned, Fairless, who is currently the Chairman of the Bertie Board of Education, said he still is a member of the School Board and there is plenty of work to do as he completes his fourth term in office.

“I leave the School Board with no regrets,” Fairless said. “I know there are some who will strongly disagree, especially considering the present situation with our desegregation plan, but I feel I have served the people of Bertie County well during my time on the School Board.”

When asked what would he do with his free time after leaving office, Fairless closed by saying, “There’s a lot of things I’ve wanted to do, but just didn’t have the time. I want become more involved in working for my church, do some traveling and spend time hunting.”