Farmer tops three-man field

Published 10:29 am Thursday, May 6, 2010

WINTON – An expected tight race never materialized on Tuesday.

Incumbent Hertford County Commissioner Johnnie Ray Farmer easily outdistanced a pair of political challengers in the Democratic Primary race for the District 1 seat on the board.

Unofficial numbers from the Hertford County Board of Elections showed Farmer with 1,462 votes, or 59 percent of the tally. That total was more than twice that of his closet competitor in this three-man race as local NAACP Chapter President Carl White finished with 653 votes (26.35 percent). Political newcomer and Aulander Police Officer Jimmy Barmer garnered 363 votes (14.65 percent).

For Farmer, who has no Republican opposition in the November General Election, it means adding to the Farmer family legacy in politics. His father, the late Ray Farmer, was in the midst of his third term as a Hertford County Commissioner when he died in office. Johnnie Ray Farmer took over his father’s seat in December of 1999.

That political experience led Johnnie Ray Farmer to a sweep in each of the county’s 13 voting precincts. His largest tallies came in the Murfreesboro 1 (246 votes), Ahoskie 1 (217), Ahoskie 2 (161), Winton (88) and Ahoskie 3 (86) precincts. He also easily outdistanced his two opponents in One-Stop voting where he was named on 175 ballots compared to 76 for White and 51 for Barmer.

His closest race came in the St. John precinct where he edged White by a 60-58 count. Barmer collected 10 votes in St. John.

“I am very humbled by the magnitude of the support given me on Tuesday,” Farmer said. “The citizens apparently have confidence in my ability and I look forward to working the next four years just like I have for the last nine, all in an effort to make Hertford County the best it can be.”

Farmer added that he appreciated the support of his fellow commissioners in his re-election bid as well as that of his family and friends who helped work the polls on Tuesday.

Voter turnout on Tuesday in Hertford County came in at less than 20 percent. Of the 14,874 registered voters in the county, 2,725 (18.32%) unofficially cast ballots in the Primary, one which included races in both the Democratic and Republican parties.