‘Little Howard’ takes big step

Published 8:47 am Thursday, May 8, 2014

AHOSKIE – He’s getting closer to getting back to where he felt he needed to be all along.

Howard Hunter III outdistanced incumbent Annie Mobley in Tuesday’s Primary Election to win the Democratic nomination for the 5th District seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives. With the win, Hunter moves to November’s General Election where he’ll face Republican challenger Sidney Pierce III of Gatesville. Pierce faced no opposition in his political party during the Primary Election.

The unofficial numbers from Tuesday’s Primary show Hunter winning the nomination with 5,236 votes (58.89%) within the four-county District (Bertie, Gates, Hertford and Pasquotank counties). Mobley, who has served the 5th District since 2008, was named on 3,655 ballots (41.11%).

“The voters have spoken,” said Hunter, currently a member of the Hertford County Board of Commissioners. “I just want to thank God for allowing me to be here and have this opportunity to serve if I can win in November. “I also need to thank my wife; thank the voters of the District; thank my staff, my campaign team, poll workers, and people that donated to the committee….without them I would not have this opportunity to possibly become the next House Representative from this District.”

Hunter also thanked the Hertford County Board of Commissioners for their support of his efforts. He proudly stated that his cousin, State House Rep. Chuck Espy from Mississippi, flew to North Carolina on Monday and was at Hunter’s disposal on Tuesday, “to help me out if I needed a shoulder to lean on,” he said.

Hunter topped the balloting in three of the four counties – Bertie (1,883 – 1,314), Gates (812 – 606), and Hertford (2,198 – 813). Mobley won Pasquotank County by a 922 – 343 margin.

The nominee also mentioned two men in his life that he knew were grooming him for this day – his late father, Howard Hunter Jr. who represented the 5th District for nearly 20 years, and the late Dupont Davis, a longtime Hertford County Commissioner.

“I know in my heart that my dad and Dupont are smiling up in heaven,” Hunter said. “And I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Representative Mobley for the work she has done over the years.”

Many had inquired of Hunter of why he didn’t seek the House seat earlier.

“My answer is simple…I’m the type of man who finishes what he starts,” Hunter explained. “I wanted to be the president of the NCACC (North Carolina Association of County Commissioners), and I did that. Now I want to serve this great state in another role, especially the 5th District. If elected in November, I promise to work hard to improve our local infrastructure. Economic development and job creation are at the top of the list, as is better pay for our teachers and state workers; restoring lottery funds for school construction and continue to work hard to better education across our state. I will be your voice; I’ll have an open door policy….I won’t change….I’m still ‘Little Howard’,” he concluded.

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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