Political races develop

Published 11:15 am Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Opening day for filing for the May 2018 Primary produced candidates, and political matchups, in three of the four counties of the Roanoke-Chowan area.

In Bertie County, incumbent Sheriff John Holley, a Democrat, was the first to enter the Board of Elections office at high noon on Monday. Holley was elected to his first full term in office during the 2014 election cycle.

Holley has competition as Adrian Lorenzo Bowen, a Windsor Democrat, also filed Monday for Bertie Sheriff.

Two Democrats filed for the District 2 (Midway/Merry Hill) seat on the Bertie County Board of Commissioners – former Sheriff Greg Atkins of Colerain, and Michael Freeman of NC 45 South, Windsor, currently a member of the county’s ABC Board.

Incumbent County Commissioner Tammy A. Lee, a Colerain Democrat, filed to retain her District 3 seat (Colerain 1 and 2 area) on the board.

Filing for the District 5 Commissioner’s seat (Windsor 2 area) was Carl K. Bond of Windsor, a Democrat.

Incumbent Bertie Clerk of Court Vasti F. James, a Windsor Democrat, filed for reelection on Monday.

Monday’s opening day of filing also produced a Primary race for Northampton County Sheriff. Incumbent Jack Smith of Gaston and challenger Brenda E. Burnette of Jackson, both Democrats, tossed their respective hats into the political ring. Neither are political strangers to each other as Smith defeated Burnette in the 2014 Democratic Primary.

Incumbent Northampton County Commissioners Chester J. Deloatch Sr. (District 3) of Rich Square and Fannie P. Greene (District 5) of Garysburg filed. Both are Democrats.

Two other Northampton Democratic incumbents – Clerk of Court Laquitta Green Cooper of Jackson, and Board of Education member Lucy M. Edwards of Henrico – both filed on Monday. Catherine Moody of Garysburg also filed for the Northampton Board of Education. She is a Democrat.

A race for Sheriff developed Monday in Gates County. There, two Republicans were among the first to file – James Gary Ingram and Bryan Daryl Johnson. Ingram has previously sought the Sheriff’s seat, losing to now retired Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb.

Meanwhile, two Democratic incumbents filed Monday in Gates County – Jack Owens, who currently holds the Gatesville District seat on the Board of Commissioners; and Clerk of Court Nell Wiggins.

Hertford County Board of Elections experienced a slow opening day with only three candidates, all Democrats, filling out the political paperwork. Two were incumbents – Sheriff Dexter Hayes of the St. John community, and District 2 County Commissioner Curtis Freeman of Ahoskie.

Also filing was a newcomer – Tim Wadsworth of Millennium. He is seeking to replace the retiring Johnnie Ray Farmer, the longtime District 1 member of the Hertford County Board of Commissioners.

Incumbent Howard Hunter III, an Ahoskie Democrat, filed on Monday for his District 5 seat in the NC House of Representatives. Hunter is currently in the midst of serving his second, two-year term in the House. District 5 encompasses Hertford, Gates and Pasquotank counties.

Michael H. Wray, a Gaston Democrat, filed to retain his District 27 NC House of Representatives seat. That District covers Northampton and Halifax counties.

As announced in Saturday’s edition, current Bertie County Commissioner Ronald “Ron” Wesson stated his intentions to file for the newly aligned NC House District 1 seat (which includes Bertie, Chowan, Perquimans, Tyrrell, and Washington counties). Wesson, a Windsor Democrat, followed through on Monday, filing for that seat.

Also filing for the District 1 House seat on Monday was Edward C. Goodwin, an Edenton Republican.

In District 3 of the NC Senate, incumbent Erica D. Smith (formerly Erica Smith-Ingram), a Democrat from Henrico, filed to retain that seat, which is newly realigned to include Northampton, Bertie, Vance, Warren, Martin, and Beaufort counties.

Filing for county and state district offices concludes at 12 noon on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Those wishing to file can do so at the Board of Elections office in their county of residence.

If more than one candidate (per political party) files for the open offices, they will first be involved in a Primary Election, scheduled for May 8. Those winners (per political party) will advance to the General Election on Nov. 6.

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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