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Jones wins by landslide

WINDSOR – Three years ago he was mayor of Enfield.

Last week he represented the people of Halifax and Nash counties in the North Carolina House.

Early next week, Ed Jones will represent the people of North Carolina Senate District Four.

Thursday afternoon, Jones was chosen on the first ballot of the Democratic Executive Committee from the senate district to have his name forwarded to North Carolina Governor Michael F. Easley for the seat left vacant by the death of Senator Robert L. Holloman.

“First of all, the most precious thing to everyone is our vote,” Jones said after being nominated. “People die every day for your right to vote.

“For me to do something for you to have wasted your vote today is unthinkable,” he continued. “I thank you. I thank you. I thank you.”

Jones acknowledged the counties who supported him and those who supported other candidates, saying he was going to make sure he won the confidence of those who voted for others.

A retired North Carolina Highway Patrolman, Jones once served as First Sergeant in Troop A District II which covers Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties.

“I’m going to be in Gates County,” he said. “I’m going to be in Bertie County. I’m going to be in Chowan County. I’m going to be in all the counties of this district.”

Jones also made the group a solemn vow.

“I’m going to make you a promise,” he said. “If it was on Robert Holloman’s desk, it is going to move on. If it was on Howard Hunter’s desk, it’s going to move on.

“I will uphold what Robert Holloman started,” he added. “He was a good man. Robert is gone, but my job is to carry the torch.”

Jones was one of five candidates nominated to the post.

The others included Regina “Jean” Reaves, a retired veteran from Halifax County, Willie Riddick, a long-time political appointee under a U.S. Congressman and two governors, Patricia Ferguson, a former Bertie County Commissioner who was defeated by Holloman twice during Senate elections, and Alvin Basnight, a long-time adult probation officer from Bertie County.

After the rules of the proceeding were explained, Chairman Don Davis called for nominations.

The first nomination in the process came from Halifax Executive Committee members Rives Manning, who nominated Reaves and Dock Brown who placed Jones’ name in for consideration.

Paulette Wester (Gates County) then nominated Riddick, Bertha Angel (Bertie County) submitted Ferguson’s name and Jack Williford (Bertie) put for the name of Basnight.

Each of the candidates was given three minutes to put their case to the committee.

Basnight stressed his record of helping people in his role as an adult probation officer while Ferguson talked about her history in Bertie County and Jones discussed his background in public service. Reaves talked about her status as a veteran and her work in fighting for the under privileged while Riddick talked about his years in Raleigh.

After the five candidates discussed their qualifications, the committee members deliberated for 10 minutes before casting their votes.

Each county was called to cast their votes. The votes for each county were split in half with each delegate casting half the votes.

Bertie County’s representatives divided their vote. Angel cast her 33 votes for Ferguson while Williford cast 15 votes for Jones, 15 for Riddick and three for Basnight.

Chowan County’s delegation of Martha Badger Derek Wadsworth cast the county’s entire 48-vote allotment to Jones.

Gates County’s Marsha Langston cast her 17.5 votes for Jones while Wester cast her 17.5 votes for Riddick.

Halifax County’s Brown and Manning cast 95.5 votes each for Jones and then Hertford County’s Winfred Hardy cast all 75 of the county’s votes for Jones.

Northampton County followed suit with Michelle Spruill and Eugene Taylor each casting 37 votes in favor of Jones.

The Perquimans County delegation saw Horace Reid cast nine votes for Jones and 10 for Riddick while Tammy Miller-White cast all 19 of her votes for Jones.

The result saw Jones elected with 448.5 votes followed by Riddick’s 42.5. Ferguson finished third with 33 votes and Basnight received three votes. No votes were cast in favor of Reaves.

In order to win the nomination, a candidate was require to receive 264 votes (50 percent of the district-wide total plus one).

Jones’ name has now been forwarded to Easley who can make the appointment anytime in the next seven days. If he fails to make the appointment, it will be “assumed appointed” on day number eight.