GC voters defeat tax referendum

Published 10:12 am Thursday, November 10, 2016

GATESVILLE – If the unofficial tally from Tuesday’s general election holds true, then Gates County officials will need to devise another plan on how to fund the construction of a new middle school.

According to the non-certified totals, Gates County voters defeated a referendum that called for an additional 12 cents on the property tax rate to be used to build the new school by a margin of 2,871 (56.56%) to 2,205 (43.44%).

The turnout was 62.71 percent as 5,383 of the county’s 8,584 voters cast ballots in this election cycle.

In the school construction tax referendum, the measure was favored by the majority of those casting One-Stop (early voting) and absentee ballots by a slim margin (1,161 to 1,143).

The tide turned against the tax on election day (Nov. 8). There it was defeated in five of the county’s six precincts. The most lopsided margin of opposition came in Precinct 3 (Gates district) where 453 voted against the measure compared to 191 in favor.

The proposed tax was also defeated in precincts 2 (Eure: 276-151), 4 North (Corapeake: 374-188), 4 South (Sunbury: 161-146), and 5 (Hobbsville: 270-169).

It was favored by a slim margin (199-194) in Precinct 1 (Gatesville).

Prior to the election, Gates County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Williams conducted several informational workshops throughout the county where he discussed the plans to replace the aging middle school. It was estimated that a new school would cost $16 million.

There were two other local races in Gates County.

For the District 5 Board of Commissioners seat, incumbent Democrat Linda Hofler, the current Board chairperson, received 3,123 votes to defeat Republican challenger Johnny Dwayne Wiggins (1,966).

For Gates County Register of Deeds, incumbent M. Cathy Horton, a Democrat, was named on 3,354 ballots and defeated Republican challenger Anthony C. Adams (1,740 votes).

Incumbent District 4 Commissioner Henry L. Jordan, a Democrat, was unopposed in the election. He received 3,564 votes. 

As for how Gates County voters cast ballots in the national races, they favored eventual winners Donald Trump (2,851 votes compared to 2,371 for Hillary Clinton); and incumbent US Senator Richard Burr (who collected 2,800 votes while Deborah K. Ross had 2,303).

In the races for the State Council of Government, winners in Gates County were incumbent Governor Pat McCrory (2,854 to 2,325 over Roy Cooper); incumbent Lt. Governor Dan Forest (2,653 to 2,380 over Linda Coleman); Buck Newton over Josh Stein (2,598-to-2,470) for NC Attorney General; incumbent State Auditor Beth Wood over Chuck Stuber (2,544-to-2,460); incumbent Agricultural Commissioner Steve Troxler over Walter Smith (2,960-to-2,397); incumbent NC Commissioner of Insurance Wayne Goodwin over Mike Causey (2,582-to-2,461); incumbent NC Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry over Charles Meeker (2,669-to-2,356); incumbent NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall over Michael LaPagila (2,626-to-2,419); challenger Mark Johnson over incumbent NC Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson (2,579-to-2,467); and Dale R. Folwell over Dan Blue III (2,650-to-2,369) for State Treasurer.

In the race for the District One NC Senate seat, incumbent Republican Bill Cook earned another term by defeating Democratic challenger Brownie Futrell. Cook collected 52,687 votes across the district compared to 36,350 for Futrell. Gates County voters favored Cook by a 2,274-to-2,350 margin.

All local results will be certified by the Gates County Board of Elections on Friday, Nov. 18.

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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