Lewter to fill Hunter’s term

Published 4:19 pm Sunday, February 1, 2015

WINTON – A life-long Hertford County resident and respected businessman is the choice to fill a vacant seat on the Hertford County Board of Commissioners.

As part of their agenda here Thursday night, as they reconvened from a meeting recessed on Jan. 20, the current four members of the county commission selected Garry Lewter to fill the remaining two years on the unexpired term of Howard Hunter III. Hunter resigned Dec. 31 as a county commissioner after winning the District 5 North Carolina House of Representatives seat in November.

Lewter said he was initially hesitant in seeking the vacant seat, but eventually did so at the urging of some close friends and colleagues.

“I’ve been around politics all my life,” said Lewter, who resides in the St. John community. “After I was urged to seek the position, I carefully considered all the options and decided to give it a try.”

Lewter is not a stranger to Hertford County local government. He has served 13 years on the county Planning and Zoning Board, the last six as its chairman. He has also served 10-plus years on the Partners for Hertford County Schools Board of Directors and is a long-time member of the Hertford County Athletic Association.

“Through my years on the Planning and Zoning Board, I’m very familiar with the inner workings of county government,” Lewter said. “But I feel my biggest attribute is the fact that I’ve lived in Hertford County all my life. I understand the people here. I’m looking forward to serving the citizens of this county and working alongside the other commissioners for the betterment of our county.”

Lewter, who works as a funeral director and embalmer for local funeral homes as well as four others outside of Hertford County, attends New Ahoskie Baptist Church where he serves as chairman of the Trustee Board. He is also involved in the Dr. J.D. Weaver Scholarship Foundation, serving as its financial secretary.

His wife, Margaret, is retired as a schoolteacher from Bertie County Public Schools. They are the parents of two adult children.

Lewter’s name was among the six candidates for the vacant seat presented to the Commissioners by the Executive Committee of the Hertford County Democratic Party (HCDP) following the latter’s Jan. 15 meeting.

Sang Hamilton, HCDP Chairman, told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald that the Executive Committee recognized and followed a request made by the current Commissioners to recommend multiple names. In addition to Lewter, that list included Oliver Holley, John Horton, Berna Stephens, Sarah Wallace, and Carl White.

“We followed the state statutes and procedures as we met within 30 days of Mr. Hunter submitting his resignation as a seated Commissioner, and forwarded our list of possible replacements to the county in a timely manner,” said Hamilton during an earlier interview.

Lewter was the lone name motioned on by the Commissioners at their Thursday meeting. The ensuing vote was 4-0.

Lewter, who will be sworn in at the board’s regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 2, will serve the remaining two years of Hunter’s unexpired four-year term. At the expiration of the term, Lewter can choose whether or not to seek the seat through a traditional election cycle.

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.

email author More by Cal