Municipal filing period busy in final days

Published 10:31 am Monday, July 22, 2013

When the clock struck high-noon Friday and the two-week filing period for candidates seeking election to municipal offices in the Roanoke-Chowan area had ended, just one clear pattern emerged.

Very few incumbents will be challenged in November since this is an odd-year or off-year election from when politics really heats up. But that will not be the case in Ahoskie where one seasoned veteran on the Town Council has opted not to seek reelection while the two other incumbents are facing challengers.

Three-term, Ward A incumbent Councilman Malcolm Copeland, did not file for re-election. His seat will be determined by the voters’ choice between Charles Freeman and James Futrell.

“I’ll be 81 years old in January of next year, meaning if I were to be reelected I’d be nearly 85 when that four-year term ends,” Copeland said. “It’s time to step aside and have a new face on this Council. I’ve enjoyed my time on the Council; we’ve accomplished some great things in Ahoskie over the past 12 years.”

Another incumbent, Ward B Councilman Winfred Hardy, has filed for re-election, but will face two challengers in Donald K. Kirkland and New Ahoskie Baptist Church pastor, C. David Stackhouse.

Former Ahoskie mayor Linda Blackburn, who holds the Ahoskie Council’s member-at-large seat, and who was appointed to that position to serve out the term of O.S. “Buck” Suiter, who resigned, will face a challenger in Charles Reynolds.

Over in Bertie County, long-time Powellsville mayor Thomas Asbell, who was one of the first to file, is going after another term. The three current Powellsville town commissioners filed to retain their seats: Carlyle Hoggard, James Peele, and Joseph (JT) Watford.

Roxobel mayor Gary Johnson and the four incumbents for town council: David Baisey, Henry Boschen, Stanley Harrell, and Sammy Pruden all filed.

Colerain Councilman Bill Harrell was joined in filing by the other two incumbents: Duncan Hughes and Robert Kaylor.  Also on the ballot will be the unexpired term of council member Thomas Waicul. Anthony Rawls was appointed to the seat upon Waicul’s resignation and has filed to retain it thru 2015.

Five seats are up for election in Kelford, but only four incumbents filed: Letitia Harris, James Harvey Bland, John Eaton and Harvey Wayne Bland. According to election rules, unless filing is extended, the fifth seat – currently held by Frank Harris, who did not file for re-election – will be filled with the write-in candidate who receives the most votes. Incumbent Kelford mayor Bailey Parker is also seeking re-election.

In Aulander, Jason Tinkham and Ron Poppell have filed hoping to retain their seats. Dennis Wilder did not file for re-election and Phillip L. Thomas is on the ballot hoping to be elected to that seat.

In Askewville, Mayor John Pierce did not file for re-election; instead current town councilwoman Gloria Mae Bryant has filed to run for mayor. Michael Baker and Kay Brantley have filed for re-election to the Askewville Town Council with Carla Pesce filing for the third seat up for election.

In Windsor, Mayor James F. Hoggard, III filed for a second term while David Overton filed for re-election along with incumbent Joe Alexander on the Windsor Town Council.

Meanwhile, Lawrence Carter is seeking election for the final two years on the unexpired term of Windsor councilman Hoyt Cooper, who moved out of town; and Cathy Wilson has filed to fill the unexpired two years remaining on the term of the late Collins Cooper. But a third candidate has filed for one of the unexpired seats: former councilman T.R. ‘Buddy’ Shaw. According to election rules all three candidates seeking to fill the two unexpired terms will be on the ballot, and the two highest vote-getters will serve.

All five incumbents on the Murfreesboro Town Council have filed for re-election. They are: Craig Dennis, Gloria Odum, Randy Roberts, Sarah Whitley Wallace, and Hal Thomas.  Murfreesboro Mayor John Hinton has also filed for re-election.

Harrellsville mayor Robert Dantz was one of the earlier filers in the county, hoping to be elected to another term. Also filing were Councilwoman Deborah Baker, Mary Thompson and Roy Worrells, Jr. One newcomer on the ballot for Harrellsville Town Council will be Lisa Ann Hunnicutt.

In Cofield mayor Hermea Pugh, Sr. filed for re-election, but there were only four filings for five town council seats: incumbents Nettie (Teen) Combo Brickers, Stephen Lassiter, Anthony Archer, and June S. Wynn. Again, a write-in may determine who fills the fifth Cofield council seat.

The town of Como’s four incumbent commissioners all filed to retain their seats (Kevin Higbee, Susan Kennington, Stephen Pearce, and Ann Spruill), while the town’s mayoral position currently held by Irvin Lee Stephens, Sr. returns to the ballot.

Finally in Hertford County, three people have filed for council seats in Winton: Wesley Liverman, Will Liverman, and McCoy Pierce will be on the ballot.

Over to Northampton County where Brian Bolton has filed for mayor of Conway with Alan Harris, Lance Jenkins, Willie Simmons, Gail Wade and James Thomas Jilcott filing for the five seats for Conway Town Commissioner.

Four candidates have filed for two seats available for Gaston Town Commissioner: Tony Hux, Sr., Alice Delbridge, Erica Nicole Garner Hawkins, and Franklin Manning. Jason Moore, meanwhile, has filed to retain his post as Gaston’s mayor.

Leon “Dick” Collier has filed for mayor of Lasker. There have also been three filers for the three town commissioner seats: Charles M. Daughtry, Jr., Stevie Flythe, and Robin Gibson.

A trio of filers will make up the ballot for town commissioner in Jackson: Karin Clements, Mary Ann Crawley, and Jason S. Morris.

Incumbent Roy Bell has filed for mayor in Garysburg with the five Garysburg town commissioner candidates being Woodrow W. Harding, Jr., Iris F. Williams, Lois S. Ausby, Chemeka Williams, and James Mayo.

George Hinton McGee is on the ballot for mayor of Severn and the five town commissioner names on the same ballot will be Joseph Troy Holloman, Rita McKeown, Eloise Martin, Royal Parker Watson, Jr., and Tony Herman.

In Rich Square Doris “Peggy” Risper has filed for the mayor’s post. Filings for town commissioner are: Linwood C. Bryant, Charles Eason, Reginald White, Raymond White, and Marcia P. Majett.

In Woodland, David L. Cooper and Margaret E. Burgywn have filed for the two town council seats.

Finally in Northampton County, Bobie N. Moss has filed for the Seaboard mayor’s post and there are four candidates for three town commissioner seats: William M. Gallimore, Ruth M. Bek, Laquita Barnes, and Danny Hines.

And we had this late word from Northampton Board of Elections chair, Susie Squire regarding the four year unexpired seat of Edward “Ed” Stevens, “We did not have anyone to file for Edward “Ed” Stevens’ (Seaboard) seat, the seat that was open because he left before his term was up.”

Next for the candidates that have filed and those hoping to be elected as write-ins will be Election Day 2013: Tuesday, November 5.