Smith earns Sheriff’s seat

Published 8:49 am Thursday, May 8, 2014

There’ll be a new sheriff in town, but he’ll resemble the one now in office.

On Tuesday, Jack Smith officially earned the confidence of Northampton County’s voting citizens as he was the overwhelming choice for Sheriff. Smith was named on 3,247 ballots (71.02%), defeating challenger Brenda Burnette (1,325 votes; 28.98%).

Smith was named Interim Sheriff last year upon the retirement of Sheriff Wardie Vincent. Burnette served as a Captain under Sheriff Vincent and briefly worked for Smith before announcing her retirement.

The former State Highway Patrol Lieutenant, once assigned to Northampton, made it clear last year that he wished to earn the vote of county citizens to become their Sheriff. He retired last July as the Chief Deputy for the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, making Tuesday his first-ever attempt in seeking votes for public office.

“I thank the citizens of Northampton for believing in me. I promise I won’t let them down,” Smith stated.

Smith topped the vote in each of the county’s 18 precincts. He also led the One-Stop and Absentee voting methods. Smith won by 90-or-more votes in the Conway (234-27), Creeksville (160-36), Galatia (125-23), Milwaukee (112-13), Newtown (141-15), Rich Square (306-76), and Woodland (179-31) precincts.

In the lone contested race for CountyBoard of Commissioners, incumbent Fannie P. Greene earned another four-year term to represent District 5 as she defeated challenger Jason Moore, 2,859-to-1,341. Greene built her victorious cushion with big wins in the Garysburg (298-52), Rich Square (295-54), Seaboard (188-47), and Woodland (128-47) precincts. She also enjoyed a huge advantage in One-Stop voting (761-284).

Northampton voters also cast ballots for the Board of Education with the top three earning seats. The winners were Lucy M. Edwards (2,547 votes), Kelvin Edwards (2,514) and Rhonda Taylor (1,947). Rounding out the seven candidates seeking votes were Keedra Whitaker (1,789), Becky Turner (1,608), Richie Harding (860), and Julius O. Webb (705).

Northampton native Michael Wray will return to Raleigh to represent District 27 in the NC House. The incumbent state legislator defeated challenger Franklin D. Williams of Weldon, 2,682-to-1,803. All totaled in the two-county District (that includes Halifax), Wray won by a 8,434-to- 6,107 margin.

A referendum to allow the sale of mixed beverages at clubs, restaurants and other legal establishments in the county was approved, 3,072-to-1,651.

All vote totals are unofficial until the Northampton County Board of Elections conducts a canvass 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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