Newcomers top ballot in Ahoskie & M’boro

Published 11:12 am Thursday, November 9, 2017

A pair of political newcomers did not let their lack of experience in town government stop their quest to hold office.

The unofficial results from Tuesday’s municipal election across Hertford County showed Jamie Burns easily outdistancing a field of three other candidates to win the At-Large seat on the Ahoskie Town Council. She will replace incumbent Councilwoman Linda Blackburn who did not seek reelection.

Meanwhile, in Murfreesboro, political novice Mitchell “Mitch” Radford was the leading vote-getter in a seven-person race for five seats on the Town Council. He is employed in the Business Office at Chowan University.

Burns, a Registered Nurse, was unofficially credited with receiving 318 votes. The majority of that total came from the Ahoskie 1 precinct (225 votes). She also topped the voting in the Ahoskie 2 precinct (34).

Two other political newcomers – Stewart Fields and David D. Robertson – respectively placed second and third in the race for Ahoskie’s At-Large seat on the Town Council. Fields was named on 186 ballots, exactly one-half (93) of which came in the Ahoskie 3 precinct. Fields also led the One-Stop voting (24-21 over Burns). Robertson earned 110 total votes.

Donald Kirkland, who has ran for the office of Mayor and Town Council in Ahoskie during previous elections, placed fourth with 52 votes.

Also in Ahoskie, incumbent Ward B Councilman C. David Stackhouse earned another four-year term on the town’s governing board by easily defeating newcomer Katty Pena White, 236-50. The majority of Stackhouse’s vote total came in Ahoskie 3 where he outdistanced White, 157-20, according to the unofficial numbers. In Ahoskie 2, Stackhouse was named on 59 ballots compared to 18 for White.

Incumbent Ahoskie Councilman Charles W. Freeman was unopposed in his bid to retain the Ward A seat. Freeman received 316 votes.

Murfreesboro’s race was busy with seven candidates seeking the five seats on the Town Council.

Other than Radford’s winning effort, the other top vote-getters earning a seat on the Murfreesboro Council were Berna L. Stephens (297 votes) along with incumbents Craig Dennis (275), Sarah Whitley Wallace (260), and Bill Theodorakis (241).

Stephens was the leading vote-getter by the One-Stop method. She received 24 votes there, with Radford gaining 21.

Incumbent Murfreesboro Councilman Rick Heckler, who was appointed to the seat to fill an unexpired term and was seeking to retain that position, placed sixth with 222 votes. Newcomer Kim Castle rounded out the field with 163 votes.

Hal Thomas, a current member of the Murfreesboro Council, won his first-ever bid for the Mayor’s seat. Thomas ran unopposed and collected 287 votes. There were a total of 166 write-in votes for Murfreesboro Mayor, of which Rev. Robert Richardson received 138.

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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