Former municipal leaders return to duty

Published 9:07 am Thursday, November 10, 2011

COLERAIN – Not having a name on the ballot didn’t change the outcome.

Despite the fact he did not file for reelection, incumbent Colerain Mayor Burney Baker was reelected by write-in votes according to unofficial tallies from the Bertie County Board of Elections.

Baker received 39 of the 42 votes cast for mayor in the write-in voting.

While Baker was elected by write-in vote, incumbent Commissioner Thomas A. Waicul filed for election and received 35 votes to assure reelection to his post.

He will likely be joined on the town board by Joe Morris, who received 26 votes on write-in ballots. Morris was named on 26 of the 37 ballots cast for write-ins.

Morris was a three-term member of the town board and served as mayor before relocating to Beaufort for more than two decades. Upon retirement, he returned to Colerain and said he was flattered when people approached him about writing his name in for the town board.

“I retired and moved back home and I have always had Colerain in my heart,” he said. “I want to help keep things going and I’m looking forward to serving.”

Incumbent Ronnie F. Felton did not seek reelection to the Colerain Commission and no other candidate filed.

While the picture is pretty clear in Colerain, the town ofAskewvilleis not sure who will serve on its commission.

Mayor John W. Pierce was reelected with 18 votes. He was unopposed.

Only one of three commissioners filed for the town board, however, and Kay Brantley was reelected with 15 votes. Commissioners Mike Baker and Rodney Thomas did not file to retain their seats.

In unofficial tallies, however, Baker was reelected with seven votes while Thomas is tied with Gloria Bryant, each having received six write-in votes. No provisional votes were cast in the precinct.

If both candidates are willing to accept the seat and results hold after canvassing, the winner will be chosen by lot, according to the State Board of Elections. Casting a lot could mean drawing the name out of a hat, flipping a coin or other such determining factors.

The town ofRoxobelalso had a vacant commissioner spot on the ballot. Commissioners David L. Baisey and Stanley Harrell chose to seek reelection along with former Commissioner Henry Boschen. Incumbents Carroll Minton and Manuel Joyner chose not to seek reelection.

Baisey (32), Boschen (17) and Harrell (30) were all elected to spots on the board. According to unofficial results, former Commissioner Sammy Pruden will join them with 15 write-in votes. The next highest vote-getter in write-in balloting was Linwood Brinkley with nine.

Pruden said he had told people that asked he would serve if they chose him by write-in and that he was honored they had chosen him.

“If enough people wrote my name in and want me to serve, I’ll be glad to do it,” he said.

Incumbent Roxobel Mayor Gary Johnson was unopposed and received 38 votes.

Another town that will be represented by a write-in candidate is Aulander. In that municipality, neither incumbent – Commissioners Tony Todd and Jeanette Tinkham – filed for reelection.

Newcomer Corey Balance filed for one of those seats and was elected according to unofficial results with 46 votes. Finishing as the highest write-in candidate was former Commissioner Bobbie Parker. Todd was the second-highest write-in candidate with 37 votes.

Contacted Wednesday, Parker said she was honored by the votes she received, but would wait for an official tally.

“If the citizens have confidence in me to serve and represent them again, I’m very honored and appreciative,” Parker said. “If that happens, I will serve each and every citizen and keep all of their best interest at heart.”

Parker, who admitted she was surprised by the tally, said she wanted to see official results before determining her course of action.

“I think it’s best to wait for the official results and then I’ll entertain the idea,” she said. “I think doing so now would be premature.”

Incumbent Mayor Larry Drew ran unopposed and was elected to his second term with 58 votes.

Lewiston-Woodville had the only contested race for commissioner. Incumbent Woodville Commissioner Eddie Graham handily defeated challenger June Jernigan. Graham received 41 votes compared to 17 for Jernigan.

Lewiston District Commissioner Chris Bazemore Cordon ran unopposed and received 34 votes. At-Large representative Carolyn F. Jernigan received 35 votes in her bid for reelection. She was also unopposed.

In the County Seat, all three Windsor Commissioners ran unopposed in their bid to stay on the board. Mayor Pro-Tempore Hoyt Cooper was the leading vote-getter with 52 tallies while Collins Cooper received 44 votes and Bobby N. (Bob) Brown received 41.

Powellsville Mayor Thomas Asbell was reelected with 31 votes. He and all three commissioners ran unopposed. Returning to the town board will be J.T. Watford (33 votes), James Peele (33) and Carlyle Hoggard (31).

Kelford Mayor Bailey Parker was also reelected with 26 votes. He was unopposed. Incumbent Commissioners James H. Bland Jr. (24 votes), Wayne Bland (23) and Frank Harris (20) were each reelected. Newcomers to the board will be John (Timmy) Eaton (17) and Letitia J. Harris (20). Those five were the only candidates to file.

All results are unofficial until next week’s canvas. At that time they will be certified by the Bertie County Board of Elections.