Decisions await R-C area voters

Published 11:45 am Monday, May 7, 2012

After months of listening to or reading about the candidates seeking local, state and national offices, Roanoke-Chowan area voters will decide the political future of those individuals during next week’s Primary Election.

For those registered voters choosing not to use the One-Stop voting method, traditional polling places throughout the R-C area will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8.

Winners from next week’s Democratic and Republican primaries will advance to November’s General Election.

Primary ballots from both political parties are full of candidates seeking to represent their local, district, state and national constituents.

Democrats in all four counties will be able to cast votes for the following partisan offices:

U.S. President – Barack Obama or No Preference;

NC Governor – Walter H. Dalton, Gary M. Dunn, Bob Etheridge, Bill Faison, Gardenia M. Henley, or Bruce Blackmon;

NC Lt. Governor – Eric L. Mansfield, or Linda D. Coleman;

NC Commissioner of Agriculture – Walter Smith or Scott Bryant;

NC Commissioner of Labor – Marlowe Foster, Ty Richardson, or John C. Brooks; and

NC Treasurer – Ron Elmer, or Janet Cowell.

Area Republicans will have a larger list of candidates to choose from in the Primary. They are as follows:

US President – Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, or No Preference;

US House of Representatives (District 3; a portion of Gates County only) – Walter B. Jones, or Frank Palombo;

NC Governor – Jim Harney, Scott A. Jones, Jim Mahan, Pat McCrory, Charles Kenneth Moss, or Paul Wright;

NC Lt. Governor – Dale Folwell, Dan Forest, Tony Gurley, Grey Mills, or Arthur Jason Rich;

NC Auditor – Joseph Hank DeBragga, Greg Dority, Debra Goldman, Fern Shubert, or Rudy Wright;

NC Commissioner of Agriculture – Bill McManus, or Steve Troxler;

NC Commissioner of Insurance – James McCall, Richard Morgan, or Mike Causey;

NC Secretary of State – A. J. Daoud, Kenn Gardner, Ed Goodwin, or Michael (Mike) Beitler;

NC Superintendent of Public Instruction – Ray Ernest Martin, David Scholl, John Tedesco, Richard Alexander, or Mark Crawford; and

NC Treasurer – Frank Roche, or Steve Royal.

Democratic voters in District 5 (to include Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties) of the NC House of Representatives  will decide a race between Annie Ward Mobley and Linda L. Blackburn as the party’s nominee for that seat.

In the Democratic race for the NC House seat for District 27, Northampton voters can choose between Michael Wray and James Mills.

Democrats in Bertie, Hertford and Northampton will also decide the nominee for the newly realigned NC Senate District 3, a race between Clark Jenkins and Florence Arnold Armstrong.

In Gates County, Republicans voters will choose between Jerry Evans and Bill Cook as the nominee in NC Senate District 1.

The Primary ballot for Democrats is also dotted with local county races. They are as follows:


Bertie County

District 1 County Commissioner – Lewis (LC) Hoggard III or Ronald (Ron) Wesson; and

Register of Deeds – Annie F. Wilson or Evelyn Wilson-Lee .

Gates County

County Commissioner (Hobbsville District) – Linda Hofler, Ernest L. Jordan, or Graham L. Twine; and

County Commissioner (Sunbury District) – Henry L. Jordan, or Chuck Brothers.

In nonpartisan races, all Gates County voters will be able to cast ballots for those seeking seats on the Gates County Board of Education. In District 4, Dale W. Saunders Sr. will square off against Claire R. Whitehurst for that seat. Meanwhile, Ray Felton is the only name on the ballot for the District 2 School Board seat.


Hertford County

District 1 County Commissioner – Howard J. Hunter III or Byron Simonds;

District 2 County Commissioner – Justin Freeman, Ronald J. Gatling or Kathleen Ward Wright;

District 3 County Commissioner – Brenda S. Greene, William (Bill) Mitchell Jr. or David E. Pope; and

Register of Deeds – Deborah Morrison, Gilda Stephenson Robertson, Elvira Mason Spiers or Melanie Storey.


Northampton County

In a nonpartisan race for four seats on the Board of Education, any registered voter in the county can choose between (vote for 4) Terrence L. Boone, Marjorie Edwards, Arnetha Garner, Lafayette (Lott) Majette, Phil A. Matthews, Anthony J. Roberts, Erica Smith-Ingram, Becky Turner, Charles R. Tyner Sr., Janett Vaughan Walker and

Clinton McCray Williams.


Additionally, all voters in the R-C area will help decide a referendum regarding an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution. The proposed amendment reads as follows: Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. Voters will be asked to cast their ballots for or against.

A current North Carolina law enacted in 1996 says that marriage between individuals of the same sex is not valid in North Carolina. This amendment would make that concept part of the North Carolina Constitution. If this amendment is passed by the voters, then under state law it can only be changed by another vote of the people.

The term “domestic legal union” used in the amendment is not defined in North Carolina law.

There is debate among legal experts about how this proposed constitutional amendment may impact North Carolina law as it relates to unmarried couples of same or opposite sex and same sex couples legally married in another state, particularly in regard to employment-related benefits for domestic partners; domestic violence laws; child custody and visitation rights; and end-of-life arrangements. The courts will ultimately make those decisions.

The amendment also says that private parties may still enter into contracts creating rights enforceable against each other. This means that unmarried persons, businesses and other private parties may be able to enter into agreements establishing personal rights, responsibilities, or benefits as to each other. The courts will decide the extent to which such contracts can be enforced.

The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald will provide coverage on the night of Tuesday, May 8 with results posted online at

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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