Smith-Ingram ousts incumbent

Published 8:45 am Thursday, May 8, 2014

Erica Smith-Ingram had a plan…..that of rallying the masses to her side.

Her plan worked to perfection during Tuesday’s Primary Election.

Riding the strength of overwhelming support in Bertie, Hertford and her home county of Northampton, Smith-Ingram defeated six-term incumbent State Senator Clark Jenkins, thus earning the right to represent the 3rd District in Raleigh.

The current member of the Northampton Board of Education, as well as a classroom teacher, collected 10,550 votes (48.37%) over the eight-county district. Jenkins, of Tarboro, was named on 8,718 ballots (39.97%). The Rev. Alan Mizelle of Windsor, a political newcomer, ran third with 2,545 votes (11.67%).

Nearly 55 percent (5,687 votes) of Smith-Ingram’s support came from three Roanoke-Chowan area counties. In Northampton, she was named on 2,627 ballots, compared to 1,233 for Jenkins and 321 for Mizelle. Hertford County voters supported Smith-Ingram with 1,582 votes…..800 for Jenkins, and 378 for Mizelle. Bertie County citizens also swung their support to Smith-Ingram with 1,478 votes, compared to 861 for Mizelle and 822 for Jenkins.

As expected, Jenkins carried his home county of Edgecombe with 3,589 votes. But Smith-Ingram fared well there by being named on 2,372 ballots. Mizelle mustered 326 votes.

Smith-Ingram was the leading vote-getter in two other District 3 counties – Washington (1,074 compared to 912 for Jenkins, and 403 for Mizelle), and Martin (1,049 compared to 895 for Jenkins and 140 for Mizelle).

Jenkins topped the Chowan County voting, barely edging Smith-Ingram by a 255-244 count. Mizelle collected 76 votes.

All voting totals are unofficial until the county election boards conduct a required canvass of all polling places next week.

With no Republican opposition in the fall, Smith-Ingram will be sworn in early next year as the District 3 State Senator.

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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