Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 9, 2006
WINTON – The crowd in the Hertford County Commissioners’ conference room was sparse Tuesday night; the weather probably playing a factor in the small turnout.
Three candidates for the Hertford County Public School Board election were in attendance however, but only one of them, former HCPS Superintendent Dennis Deloatch, walked out of the room an elected official.
Deloatch, Susan Barnes Williams and Marcus L. Williams Sr. watched nervously Tuesday night as the results of the election were broadcast on a projection screen.
Deloatch, who left office under a swirl of controversy after his contract was not renewed earlier this year, campaigned against a backdrop of judicial scrutiny from Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning.
Manning had expressed displeasure over the academic performance of the county’s public schools in recent years.
In May, three of the board’s five members voted to not renew Deloatch’s contract, and one of them, Rev. Patrick Young, appeared to have lost his seat as a result of Deloatch’s victory.
Incumbent board member John D. Horton garnered most of the votes Tuesday, winning 19 percent of the total ballots on the strength of capturing six of the county’s 13 precincts outright and tying for the lead in another. Horton’s total came to 1,833 votes. He was the top choice in the Ahoskie III, Bryantville, Como, Murfreesboro II, St. John’s and Union precincts.
Deloatch, who like incumbent Ron Baker tallied the most votes in three precincts, found his biggest support in Murfreesboro where the former superintendent defeated every other candidate on the ballot. He finished as the second leading vote getter by being named on 1,731 ballots.
Baker, who beat out Young for the third seat by 86 votes, received the most votes in Ahoskie precincts II and I. Baker collected 1,485 votes compared to Young with 1,399.
Collectively the two female candidates, newcomers Barnes-Williams and Carolyn Mitchell Vaughan, captured 23 percent of the total vote with Williams getting 13 percent (1,225) and Vaughan getting 10 percent (945).
Williams Sr. of Murfreesboro, finished with 10 percent (1,057) of the total ballots cast in his favor.
After Horton, Deloatch was second in the race with 18 percent of the total votes.
Baker’s strong showing in Ahoskie helped get him 15 percent of the total against Young’s 14 percent and Barnes-Williams’ 13 percent.
The results of the election show that many Hertford County voters continued to support the former superintendent despite the controversy surrounding his departure.
In the Hertford County Soil and Water District Supervisor balloting, David Simons (2,213) and Jimmy Mason (1,874) were elected.
Local winners running in unopposed races were:
Johnny Ray Farmer – Hertford County Commissioner C1 – 3,473
Curtis Anthony Freeman – Hertford County Commissioner C2 – 3,202
Juan Vaughan – Hertford County Sheriff – 3,588
Valerie Mitchell Asbell – District 6B Attorney
Shirley Gatling Johnson – Clerk of Superior Court – 3,424
W. Rob Lewis – District 6B Court Judge- 2,916
Alfred W. Kwasikpui – District 6B Court Judge- 2,362
G. K. Butterfield – US Congress District 01 – 3,236
All vote totals were unofficial.