Candidate filing ends

Published 6:51 am Monday, March 3, 2014

A few last-minute filers helped complete the May primary ballots in the Roanoke-Chowan area after Friday’s noon deadline at the county Boards of Elections. This sets up quite a few interesting races across the region from the U.S. Senate to local school board.

In Bertie County, all three sitting Board of Commissioners members will be seeking re-election in the fall, and by Friday all three had challengers who will oppose them in the May primary.

In Bertie District 3, Democratic incumbent J. Wallace Perry will see a challenge from Tammy Lee of Colerain.  In District 5 sitting Commission vice-chair Charles Smith received a last-minute challenge from Aulander resident Ernestine Bazemore.

In District 2, four-time incumbent Rick Harrell, seeking a fifth term in office, will now be opposed by two Merry Hill challengers: John Hunter Davis and James Martin Clemons have both filed to be on the ballot in the May primary.

Another race that has attracted attention in Bertie will be for the office of Clerk of Superior Court.  Vasti James, who was appointed to succeed the retiring John Tyler as of the first of this year, will be seeking her first full term in office.  She will be opposed by current magistrate Arthur J. Watford, Jr.

John Holley will be seeking his second term as Sheriff and he will be running unopposed in May, and possibly likewise in November.

The Sixth Judicial District’s District Attorney’s race has both sitting DA’s: Melissa Pelfrey and Valerie Asbell as candidates but only one will be holding office by November. When the NC General Assembly re-worked the state’s judicial jurisdiction lines – combining 6A and 6B into one district – it produced the variable that only one candidate can now be elected.

Gatesville Republican candidate Sidney Pierce III is unopposed in the May primary for the NC House District 5 seat.

On the Democratic side for House District 5, current Hertford County Commissioner Howard Hunter III is seeking to capture the seat formerly held by his late father, Howard Hunter, Jr.  Annie Mobley is the current incumbent seeking re-election to this seat.

Rounding out the primary ballot in Bertie is for the office of N.C. State Senate District 3 where a trio of Democrats will battle it out to represent the party in November. Incumbent Clark Jenkins of Tarboro and Erica Smith-Ingram of Gaston filed early and were joined this week by Windsor’s Alan Mizelle. These three names are also on the ballot in Hertford and Northampton counties.

Hertford County’s ballot will also show the Mobley-Hunter race for the State House District 5 on the Democrat side and Pierce for the GOP. Also on the ballot is the State Senate race, District 3, between Jenkins and Smith-Ingram and the District Attorney battle of Pelfrey and Asbell.

Locally, incumbents Johnnie Ray Farmer and Curtis Freeman are unopposed in the Democratic primary in Districts 1 and 2. Freeman will face a GOP challenger in the fall in the form of Daniel Smith, running unopposed as a Republican.

Two more HertfordCounty incumbents have no opposition: Juan Vaughan for Sheriff and Shirley Johnson for Clerk of Superior Court.

Over in Northampton County, Smith-Ingram, Jenkins, and Mizelle are on the ballot for state Senate District 3, as they are in Bertie and Hertford counties; likewise with the DA’s race of Pelfrey and Asbell.

In State House District 27, incumbent Michael Wray of Gaston will have an opponent in the Democratic primary in the form of Weldon’s Franklin D. Williams.

The Northampton Sheriff’s race could see the election of its first female to the top-cop job if Brenda Burnette succeeds incumbent Jack Earl Smith, who’s running for his first full term since being appointed to fill the unexpired term of the retired Wardie Vincent. Burnette and Smith are running in the Democratic primary.

Democrats Chester Deloatch and Robert Carter in County Commissioner Districts 3 and 4, respectively, are unopposed before the final filing day.  But the other incumbent, Fannie Greene, will see primary opposition from Jason Moore.

Laquita Green Cooper is unchallenged for Clerk of Superior Court.

Seven names are on the Northampton Board of Education ballot with four seats up for grabs.  Current BOE vice-chairman Kelvin Edwards is looking to remain on the board with Rhonda Taylor the other incumbent seeking to return. The other five who have filed are Lucy Edwards, Richie Harding, Becky Turner, Julius Webb and Keedra Whitaker.

In Gates County the ballot will also show the Mobley-Hunter race for the State House District 5 on the Democrat side and Pierce for the GOP.

Elsewhere, three CountyCommissioner seats will be elected in November.  For the May primary, incumbent Billy Felton, who was appointed to represent District 2 following the untimely death of John Hora, is running unopposed for a full term. The other incumbent, Jack Owens has party opposition from Thomas Langston in District 1. In District 3 there will be a three-way race for the Democratic nod: Ray Freeman, Lee “Moe” Brooks, and Marsha Langston are seeking the nomination.

Nell Wiggins is running unopposed for Clerk of Superior Court.

Two Republicans are on the ballot for Gates County Sheriff: Johnny Wiggins and James Ingram.  Ingram lost to current Sheriff Ed Webb in the 2010 general election.  Webb is running for another term unopposed on the Democratic side.

For Gates County Board of Education, incumbents Glendale Boone and Leslie Byrum are unopposed while Cindy Barber and Daniel Dickerson will face each other for the District 1 seat.

In statewide races, four state Supreme Court seats are up for election: three associate judges and Chief Justice. Jeanette Doran and Eric Levinson are challenging sitting judge Robin Hudson for Hudson’s associate’s seat; Cheri Beasley will face a challenge in Mike Robinson for Beasley’s associate’s seat.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin is being challenged by Ola Lewis from BrunswickCounty for the Chief Justice’s chair being vacated by the retiring Chief Sarah Parker.  Martin’s associate’s seat has two names on the ballot: challengers Bob Hunter and Sam Ervin IV, both of whom currently serve on the state Court of Appeals.

On the 15-member state Court of Appeals: Donna Stroud is seeking to remain, and has no opposition for her seat.  Mark Davis is being challenged for his seat by Paul Holcombe and in the seat Bob Hunter is giving up to run for Supreme Court, Bill Southern will oppose Lucy Inman.

In national races: first-term US Senator Kay Hagan has two challenges within her own Democratic party in Will Stewart from Hampstead and Greenville’s Ernest T. Reeves.

On the GOP side it’s a crowded U.S. Senate field with Jim Snyder, Ed Kryn, Mark Harris, Heather Grant, Greg Brannon, Alex Bradshaw, Thom Tillis, and Ted Alexander looking to oppose the Democratic nominee for this seat.

Two Libertarian U.S. Senate candidates have also emerged: Tim D’Annunzio and Sean Haugh.

Finally, in the US House of Representatives, three-term Wilson Democrat G.K. Butterfield has a primary challenger in Dan Whittacre of Henderson. The winner here will face one of two Republican candidates in the November general election: Brent Shypulefski and Arthur Rich are seeking the GOP nod.