Upset in Ahoskie; M’boro Council intact

Published 9:37 am Thursday, November 5, 2009

WINTON – After 12 years in retirement, former Hertford County Sheriff Winfred Hardy Jr. will returned to an elected position.

According to unofficial results Tuesday night, Hardy defeated veteran incumbent Ahoskie Town Councilman Ronald Gatling in the Ward B race for the board. Hardy garnered 148 votes in his first election bid since retiring from the office of sheriff in 1997 while Gatling, who currently serves as Mayor Pro-Tempore in Ahoskie, received 105 votes.

“It feels good to have the citizens have enough confidence in me to vote me in,” Hardy said Wednesday morning. “I’m looking forward to going to work and trying to make the town of Ahoskie progress. I look forward to working with other commissioners to get things comfortable for the people of this town.”

Hardy said he chose to run for office after a dozen years out of politics because he wanted to help the community.

“I just decided to run,” he said. “I wanted to do something to help the people of the community. Some people can retire, go home and not do anything, but I like to have something to do.”

He also said he appreciated the support he received during Tuesday’s voting.

“I appreciate the votes from the citizens,” Hardy said. “I look forward to working with them.”

Hardy will be the only new face on the Ahoskie Town Council as incumbents O.S. “Buck” Suiter and C. Malcolm Copeland retained their seats on the board. Copeland defeated the challenge of Jimmie Rowe by a count of 139-89 in the Ward A reason. Suiter, who holds the At-Large seat on the board, was unopposed and received 318 votes.

Ahoskie Mayor Linda L. Blackburn was reelected with 352 votes. She faced a challenge by write-in candidate Donald Kirkland, but was easily reelected. There were 82 write-in votes cast, but how many favored Kirkland was unknown as of press time Wednesday night.


Although both won, two incumbent Hertford County mayors who faced no official challenge ended up fighting for their political lives due to late write-in challenges.

Murfreesboro Mayor Lynn Johnson was reelected with 218 votes, but a late campaign to elect former Murfreesboro Town Councilman Wayne Brown to the post resulted in 111 votes for the former councilman. There were 135 total write-in votes.

Wednesday morning, however, Johnson resigned her post as Mayor of Murfreesboro.

In Winton, Tiffany Lewis started a write-in campaign against Mayor Calvin Hall and garnered nearly 44 percent of the vote. Hall was reelected with 54 votes, but Lewis garnered 42 via write-in.


All five incumbent Murfreesboro Town Council members were reelected despite a strong challenge from Craig Dennis, who was making his second bid for a seat on the board.

Molly Eubank was once again the highest vote-getter among the five winners with 343 votes. She was followed by incumbents Lloyd Hill (322), Sarah Whitley Wallace (319), Gloria Odum (260) and Bill Theodorakis (244). Dennis finished sixth with 237 votes.

There were no provisional ballots cast in the town.


The five members of the Winton Town Council were also reelected Tuesday evening, according to unofficial tallies.

Ernest Green (79 votes), William McCoy Pierce (73), Wesley Liverman (67), Will Liverman (64) and Charles B. Jones (63) were reelected to the town board. Wayne Brown received 55 votes in his bid for election.

Nine voters

In Harrellsville, the mayor and five town council members were reelected with the lowest voter turnout in the region. Only nine ballots were cast in the town on election day.

Mayor Robert Dantz received eight votes in his reelection bid. Incumbents Jo M. Liles, T. Coleman Taylor and Mary L. Thompson received all nine votes while council members Deborah A. Baker and Roy Worrells Jr. received eight votes.

Remainder of Hertford County

Como and Cofield each selected the names on the ballot during the election process.

Cofield Mayor Hermea Pugh Sr. was reelected with 28 votes. Council members Anthony Archer (31 votes), Nettie Combo Brickers (25), Stephen Lassiter (34) and Darrell T. Partlow (33) were reelected to their posts. Hermea Pugh Jr. received 21 votes and was elected to the seat that has been vacant since the death of Councilman Lee Watford.

In Como, Irvin L. Stephens won another term in office with 15 votes. Council members Kevin Higbee and Ann E. Spruill also received 15 votes while fellow incumbents Susan W. Kennington and Stephen Frank Pearce received 14 votes.