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Jordan wins; Britt/Twine face run-off

GATESVILLE – Pending the official outcome, it appears Henry Jordan is on his way to becoming a Gates County Commissioner.

Meanwhile, a run-off looms on the horizon between Paulette Britt and Graham Twine in the race for a second Commissioner’s seat.

Unofficial results from Tuesday’s Primary Election showed Jordan with the necessary 40-plus percent (42.74%) to win the three-man battle for the District 5 seat. In raw numbers, Jordan received 1,103 votes compared to the next leading candidate, Earl Rountree, who was named on 957 ballots (37.08%). Charles “Chuck” Brothers Jr. garnered 521 unofficial votes (20.19%) in the race to replace the retiring J.S. Pierce.

The race was razor-tight for the District 4 Commissioner’s seat. There, none of the three candidates nBritt, Twine and Mickey Lee n received the necessary 40-plus percent of the vote to earn the victory outright.

The unofficial tally saw Britt as the leading vote-getter with 889 (35.62%) of the ballots cast. Twine placed a close second with 32.61 percent of the vote (named on 814 ballots). Lee finished a respectable third with 793 votes (31.77%).

If the District 4 vote stands official following the canvass of all polling places, that means Britt and Twine will meet in a June 24 run-off election. There, the top vote-getter will fill the seat of veteran Gates County Commissioner L. Frank Rountree who died April 25. Due to health reasons, Rountree had decided earlier this year not to seek reelection.

Gates County voters overwhelmingly turned “thumbs down” to the land transfer tax proposal. Unofficial results show 2,015 citizens (70.5%) voting against the measure compared to 843 (29.5%) casting ballots in favor.

This marks the second straight election that the land transfer tax has been defeated by the voters. In last year’s November General Election, the final tally was 709 against and 485 in favor.

The other two races in Gates County, both seats on the Board of Education, were not contested. There, incumbent Dale Saunders tallied 2,187 (96.98%) unofficial votes while newcomer Ray Felton earned a seat on the local school board by being named on 2,465 ballots (98.76%). Felton will replace incumbent Paulette Wester who chose not to seek reelection.

In the NC House District 5 race, Annie Mobley edged Robert Richardson in ballots cast by Gates County voters. Mobley, who was appointed in early 2007 to fill the unexpired term of veteran Representative Howard Hunter Jr., who died in office, earned 1,261 votes (55.65%). Richardson’s unofficial tally in the county was 1,005 votes (44.35%).

It appears from the voting in the other three counties in House District 5 (Bertie, Hertford and Perquimans) that Mobley will win the election.

In other key races for state and federal offices, Gates County voters favored Barack Obama (1,329 votes; 51.59%) over Hillary Clinton (1,209 votes; 46.93%) in the race for the Democratic nomination for United States President.

In the race for the Democratic nod for North Carolina Governor, Gates County voters made Bev Perdue their clear choice. Perdue gained the support of 1,516 voters (62.9%) compared to Richard Moore’s 705 votes (29.2%). Dennis Neilsen ran a distant third with 188 votes (7.8%).

Lt. Governor hopeful Walter Dalton (891 votes; 42%) and Hampton Dellinger (748 votes; 35.3%) were the two leading vote-getters on the Democratic side.

Gates County voters couldn’t decide between Kay Hagan and Marcus W. Williams in a five-person race for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Both of those leading candidates received an identical number of votes (687) in the county.

On the Republican side, presidential hopeful John McCain (243 votes), NC Governor candidate Fred Smith (117 votes), incumbent U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole (253 votes) and Lt. Governor candidate Timothy Cook (79 votes) were the top choices among Gates County voters.

Unofficially, turnout was recorded at 3,055, which represents 44.6 percent of the county’s 6,854 registered voters.