Hofler, Jordan win Gates Primary

Published 12:15 am Wednesday, May 9, 2012

One incumbent on each the Gates County Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education lost their bid on Tuesday to continue serving county citizens for their respective next four-year terms.

Unofficial results from Tuesday’s Primary show that Graham Twine, currently serving as chairman of the commissioners, will not advance to November’s General Election. Twine, whose first term on the board ends Nov. 30, was handily defeated by Linda Hofler, the current chairwomen of the county’s Planning Board.

Over in the District 4 Board of Education race, former teacher Claire Whitehurst was the clear-cut favorite over incumbent Dale Saunders, winning by more than 650 votes.

While those two incumbents suffered losses, two others faired better.

In the tightest race of the local Primary, incumbent County Commissioner Henry Jordan edged out Planning Board member Chuck Brothers (1,048 – 901) for the right to advance to November’s General Election.Jordanwas the leading vote getter in four of the county’s six precincts – (Gatesville: 150-136; Gates: 156-155; 4-North, Corapeake: 96-95; and 4-South, Sunbury: 177-90). Brothers carried Eure (183-75) and Hobbsville (137-133).Jordanalso topped the One-Stop voting (246-100) and Absentee voting (15-5).

Board of Education incumbent Ray Felton ran unopposed in District 2. Felton was named on 2,002 ballots.

Hofler’s win in the Hobbsville’s District Commissioner’s race was impressive. She earned 61.2 percent of the vote (named on 1,193 ballots), which is impressive in a three-person race. Hofler swept all six voting precincts – Gatesville (184 votes), Eure (212), Gates (197), 4-North, Corapeake (130), 4-South, Sunbury (121), and Hobbsville (155). She also topped the One-Stop (181) and Absentee (13) voting methods for this particular race.

Placing second was political newcomer Ernest Jordan. He received 431 votes, the majority of which came from the Gates (77), Gatesville (70), and Sunbury (70) precincts. He also was named on 100 One-Stop ballots.

It was a disappointing outing for Twine. His vote total (325) was last in the three-person field. The lion’s share of his total came from the Sunbury (68) and Hobbsville (64) precincts as well as 61 votes via One-Stop.

Whitehurst received a lot of support in her first quest to seek political office, capturing 63.85 percent of the vote en route to defeating her opponent, 1,487 – 832. She bested Saunders in five precincts – Gatesville: 221-115; Eure: 260-56; Gates: 238-120; Corapeake: 223-90; and Hobbsville: 203-103; as well as leading the way in One Stop (190-181) and Absentee (16-9) voting.

Saunders carried the Sunbury precinct by a 158-136 margin.

From a regional standpoint,GatesCounty’s Democratic voters favored District 5 House of Representatives incumbent Annie Mobley over challenger Linda Blackburn, 972 – 731. Mobley won the four-county District race, 7,298 – 4,722.

On the Republican ballot for NC Senate District 1,GatesCountyvoters chose Bill Cook over Jerry Evans, 213 – 151. Cook also led the entire District (5,680 – 3,265).

GatesCountyvoters favored the State Constitutional (“Marriage”) Amendment, voting for that measure, 1,761 – 632. With 96 of the state’s 100 counties reporting as of Index presstime on Tuesday night, the Amendment was well on its way to passing with 1,300,961 in favor and 829,151 against.

All results – which yielded a 30.38 percent turnout of the county’s 8,150 total registered voters – are unofficial until next week.

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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