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Voters face choices

Ballots full of national, state and local races face Roanoke-Chowan area voters when they go to the polls on Tuesday.

Polling places throughout the area open at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 6 and close at 7:30 p.m. There, voters will decide the fate of the Democratic and Republican hopefuls looking to emerge victorious from the Primary election and move on to November’s General Election on Nov. 4.

Dominating the headlines across the nation is the heated battle between Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Traditionally, the presidential candidate for both major political parties is secured by the time the North Carolina Primary rolls around. That is the case this year on the Republican side as John McCain has already earned enough delegates to win the GOP bid on the November ballot. However, Clinton and Obama are currently locked in a tight battle for the Democratic nomination. North Carolina voters will play a key role in helping to determine which candidate will move on to November to face McCain.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) faces a Primary challenge from Peter DiLauro from nearby Weldon. The Democratic side of the US Senate race is packed full of hopefuls n Kay Hagan, Duskin C. Lassiter, Jim Neal, Howard Staley and Marcus Williams.

There are also other key races on the state level, most notably the battle between State Treasurer Richard Moore and state Lt. Governor Bev Perdue for the Democratic nomination for North Carolina Governor. On the Republican side of that ballot, Bill Graham, Pat McCrory, Robert (Bob) Orr, E. Powers and Fred Smith are vying for a chance to earn a shot at the Governor’s mansion.

Political races have also developed locally.

In the first race for the NC House District 5 seat since the 2007 death of long-time incumbent Howard Hunter Jr., Annie Mobley will square off against former Hertford County Commissioner Robert Richardson. Mobley is the current Representative, appointed to fill Hunter’s unexpired term. Both are Democrats and both from Ahoskie. The winner faces no Republican opposition in November.

A trio of candidates are seeking the District One seat on the Bertie County Board of Commissioners. Two-term incumbent L.C. Hoggard III is challenged by J. Nick Shook, a retired educator and former member of the Bertie County Board of Education, and Ronald D. Wesson.

Bertie County is not the only one who will have a commission race, however, as the District Three seat in Hertford County also has competition. There, incumbent John E. Pierce will be challenged by newcomer Bill Mitchell for that seat.

While Northampton County will see no challenges to incumbent commissioners – Virginia D. Spruill (District Two) and James Hester (District One) n there are seven candidates vying for four seats on the county’s school board.

Incumbents Catherine Moody, Bill Little and Roland Whitted are seeking to keep their seats on the board. Also on the ballot is former school board member Lafayette “Lott” Majette as well as newcomers Ola Gathers, Erica Ingram and Marjorie Edwards.

While voters have choices in those races, many area incumbents will be seeking reelection without opposition.

In Hertford County, District One Commissioner Howard J. Hunter III nor District Two Commissioner Dupont L. Davis will be opposed in their bids for reelection.

The same is true for Bertie County Commissioners Norman Cherry Sr. (District 4) and Charles Smith (District 5).

The current Register of Deeds in all three counties will seek reelection unopposed. They are Belinda White (Bertie County), Pauline Deloatch (Northampton County) and Kathleen Wright (Hertford County).

Voters in Hertford County will also note a referendum on their ballot, one asking for a yes or no decision to a proposal by the county to increase its sales tax by 0.25 percent. In layman’s terms, it would take a $1 purchase to generate one penny of extra sales tax if that measure is approved.

Ed Jones will seek election to the North Carolina Senate seat from District Four unopposed. Jones was appointed to the seat after the death of the late Senator Robert Holloman.

Incumbent NC First District U.S. Congressman G. K. Butterfield of Wilson is seeking another term in office. He faces no opposition in the May Primary, but will be joined on the November ballot by Republican Dean Stephens of Colerain. Stephens also faces no Primary opposition.

Judicial District 6-B Judge Thomas R.J. Newbern will also seek reelection to his post unopposed.

The following candidates are seeking election to the Council of State:

Lt. Governor:

Hampton Dellinger – D

Robert Pittenger – R

Walter H. Dalton – D

Timothy Cook – R

Pat Smathers – D

Dan Besse – D

Greg Dority – R

Jim Snyder -R

Secretary of State:

Elaine F. Marshall – D (Incumbent)

Jack Sawyer – R

Attorney General:

Roy Cooper – D (Incumbent)

Bob Crumley n R

Commissioner of Agriculture

Ronnie Ansley – D

Steve Troxler – R (Incumbent)

Commissioner of Insurance

John Odom – R

David C. Smith – D

Wayne Goodwin n D

Commissioner of Labor

Ty Richardson – D

Cherie Berry – R (Incumbent)

Robin Anderson – D

Mary Fant Donnan – D

John C. Brooks- D

State Treasurer:

Janet Cowell – D

David Young – D

Bill Daughtridge – R

Michael Weisel nD

State Auditor:

Beth A. Wood – D

Fred Aikens – D

Leslie Merritt – R (Incumbent)

Superintendent of Public Instruction:

June St. Clair Atkinson – D (Incumbent)

Joe Johnson – R

Eddie Davis – D

Richard Morgan -R

Eric H. Smith nR

Judge Races

NC Supreme Court (Edmunds seat)

Suzanne Reynolds

Robert H. &uot;Bob&uot; Edmunds Jr. (Incumbent)

NC Court of Appeals (Arrowood seat)

John S. Arrowood (Incumbent)

Robert N. &uot;Bob&uot; Hunter Jr.

NC Court of Appeals (Martin seat)

John C. Martin (Incumbent)

NC Court of Appeals (McCullough seat)

Doug McCullough (Incumbent)

Cheri Beasley

NC Court of Appeals (Stephens seat)

Linda Stephens (Incumbent)

Dan Barrett

NC Court of Appeals (Tyson seat)

John M. Tyson (Incumbent)

Kristin Ruth

Sam Ervin IV

Janet Pueschel

NC Court of Appeals (Wynn seat)

Dean R. Poirier

James A. (Jim) Wynn (Incumbent)

Jewel Ann Farlow