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Vann challenges Gatling

WINTON – A race between two veteran politicians has developed in Hertford County.

Late Friday afternoon, Maurice Vann of Ahoskie filed paperwork declaring his candidacy for the District 2 County Commissioner seat currently held by Ronald Gatling.

Vann is a current member of the Ahoskie Town Council, representing Ward B. He won by a decisive margin in November’s municipal election as he sought another four-year term. However, Vann’s reelection is being disputed by Donald Kirkland who challenged the Council incumbent in the November election.

Kirkland filed an appeal with the Hertford County Board of Elections last month, alleging that Vann resided in Ward A and used a home address in Ward B.

The local board dismissed that appeal based on the legal advice of Don Wright, General Counsel for the North Carolina Board of Elections. Citing North Carolina General Statute 163-57(9a), Wright said, “A person may have an actual abode (residence) in one place, and his permanent established home (domicile) in another. A domicile is the place to which the person intends to return. The law requires all persons to have only one domicile for voting purposes.”

Vann informed the local Board of Elections that he has never abandoned his domicile at 222 Malibu Drive, which is in Ward B, although he now resides at 317 Maple Street, located in Ward A.

Kirkland has appealed the local board’s decision to the North Carolina Board of Elections. That appeal has yet to be scheduled, prompting a delay in Vann being sworn-in to another four-year term as an Ahoskie Councilman.

Meanwhile, Gatling, a former three-term Ahoskie Councilman who was appointed in 2010 to fill the seat of the now late Hertford County Commissioner DuPont Davis, was voted as the Commission’s chairman at their meeting last week.

Gatling has filed for reelection, as have current Hertford County Commissioners Gary Lewter (District 1), and Bill Mitchell (District 3).

The filing period ends at 12 noon on Monday, Dec. 21.

The Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. The deadline to register to vote in the Primary is 25 days prior to that election.

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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