Municipal races dominate R-C area ballot

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 2, 2007

By general standards, it’s an “off year” for elections, but voters in the Roanoke-Chowan area do have important choices to make next Tuesday (Nov. 6).

All polling places will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. A listing of those polling places along with a complete listing of all R-C area municipal races as well as the tax referendum in Hertford County and the wastewater bond financing choice in Ahoskie can be found on page 5A.

Municipal elections will dominate the local ballot. There are mayoral and town council races in 23 municipalities throughout the R-C area (Bertie, Gates, Hertford and Northampton counties).

Additionally, Hertford County voters will decide the fate of a countywide referendum calling for a one-quarter (0.25) percent local sales and use tax. Gates County voters will cast their ballots for or against a proposed 0.4 percent land transfer tax.

Meanwhile, registered voters living within the town of Ahoskie are asked to decide “yes” or “no” to authorizing an $11.8 million general obligation bond in order to finance, in part, the acquisition, constructing and equipping of a wastewater system.

As far as the municipal ballots are concerned, there are interesting races in several area towns.

In Aulander, newcomers Larry Drew and Ronald Poppell are each attempting to unseat veteran Mayor Joe R. Jernigan Sr. In the Aulander Town Commissioner race, incumbents Bobbie Parker and Jeanette Tinkham are attempting to hold their seats against challenger Tony Todd.

There’s also a key race in Windsor where incumbent Town Commissioners Bob Brown, Hoyt Cooper and Charles Fulk face challengers Collins Cooper and Ron Williams.

In Kelford, six individuals are seeking the five seats on the board of Town Commissioners. Incumbents James Bland Jr., Frank Harris, Linda Hathaway, Bailey Parker and Tierce Ruffin are seeking reelection. Wayne Bland is the lone challenger.

In two Bertie County towns, write-in ballots will decide council seats. In Colerain, no one filed for mayor or the two open seats on town council. The leading vote-getters there will be via write-in selections. Ditto for Lewiston-Woodville where two council seats (one At-Large position and the other for the Lewiston district) are open for write-in votes since no one filed. In the Woodville district, incumbent Councilman Eddie Graham Jr. faces the challenge of June D. Jernigan.

In Hertford County, all eyes will be on a crowded field of candidates in the Murfreesboro municipal race. There, incumbent Mayor Lynn Johnson faces a pair of challengers n former Town Councilman William “Bill” Stephens and political newcomer Libby Whitaker. Nine candidates are seeking the five spots on the Murfreesboro Town Council. Incumbents Lloyd Hill, Gloria Odum, Bill Theodorakis and Sarah Wallace are attempting to hold onto their seats. Challengers include Craig Dennis, retired Town Administrator Mollie Eubank, Joe Murray, Robert Vincent and Terry Williams.

In Winton, incumbent Mayor Calvin Hall faces the challenge of Orlanda Reed.

There is one race in Ahoskie where incumbent town councilman C.R. Askew meets challenger Maurice Vann for the Ward B seat.

Over in Northampton County, the Rich Square municipal race features a crowded field. No one is challenging incumbent Mayor Peggy Risper, but there are nine people looking to fill the five open seats on the Town Commission. There, incumbents Charles Eason, Raymond Joyner, William Smallwood Jr. and Reginald White have each filed for reelection. They face challengers Nannie Ellen Branch, Linwood C. Bryant, Victoria Newcombe, J. Dudley Vick and Ricky Vick.

The only other race in Northampton County is in Gaston. There, no one filed for the mayor’s seat, meaning the leading write-in candidate will earn that position. Three seats are open for Gaston Town Commissioner with four individuals seeking those positions n incumbents Donald Conner and Wade Mosley along with challengers Jerry Dickerson and Frank Manning.