Political races heat up

Published 11:04 am Monday, February 19, 2018

Several races have developed as filing for the May Primary continues across the Roanoke-Chowan area.

A three man race has developed for District 1 Commissioner in Hertford County to replace the retiring Johnnie Ray Farmer. Tim Wadsworth of Millennium filed for that seat on Monday. Since that time, Leroy Douglas of the St. Johns community and former Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan Sr. have entered that race. All are Democrats.

For the District 2 seat on the Hertford County Board of Commissioners, current chairman Curtis Freeman filed Monday. He now has a challenger as Andre Lassiter Sr. has filed. Both men are Ahoskie Democrats.

Incumbent Hertford County Sheriff Dexter Hayes, a Democrat from the St. Johns community, filed Monday. Also filing this week for Sheriff is former Ahoskie Mayor Brien Lassiter. He announced this week that he is seeking the Sheriff’s seat as an unaffiliated candidate. That means he must first gain 610 signatures of registered voters in the county to gain unaffiliated status and have his name listed on the November General Election ballot. He has until May 8 to have those signatures on a petition and present it to the Hertford County Board of Elections.

As of Friday, incumbent Hertford County Clerk of Court Shirley Johnson was the only individual filing for that elected office. She is a Democrat.

There were more filings by the end of the first week in Bertie County for the May 2018 primary.

Incumbent District 5 Commissioner – and current Commission chairperson – Ernestine Byrd Bazemore filed for her re-election bid on Wednesday. So far, she has one challenger for the seat in her district, newcomer and Bertie County farmer Carl Bond. Both Byrd and Bond are Democrats.

District 6 District Attorney Valerie Asbell, also a Democrat, has filed for re-election.

Bertie 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 areas) on the Board.

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

A few incumbents holding Northampton County seats will have some challengers in the upcoming election. Other races, however, still see candidates running unopposed.

Dennis L. Babb filed this week for the District 3 seat on the county’s Board of Commissioners. Babb is a Republican from Potecasi. District 3 incumbent Chester Deloatch, a Democrat from Rich Square, filed on Monday.

At the moment, commissioner incumbents Robert Carter of Pendleton (District 4) and Fannie Greene of Garysburg (District 5) are running unopposed in their districts. Both are registered Democrats.

Brenda Burnette is set to go head-to-head with incumbent Jack Smith for the position of Sheriff. Burnette is from Jackson, while Smith is from Gaston. Both are Democrats

Laquitta Green-Cooper is seeking another term as Northampton County Clerk of Superior Court. No one else has filed to run against the Democrat from Jackson.

Both Lucy Edwards of Henrico and Catherine Moody of Garysburg filed for seats on the county’s Board of Education.

Filing activity increased this week in Gates County where four men have filed for Sheriff. Two Republicans were among the first to file – James Gary Ingram and Bryan Daryl Johnson. A pair of Democratic candidates followed, including Interim Sheriff Robert Jordan along with Nurnie Reid.

Rebecca Parks, a Republican, filed for the Gates District seat on the county’s Board of Commissioners.

Incumbent Jack Owens, a Democrat, filed earlier in the week to retain his Gatesville District seat on the Board of Commissioners.

Another incumbent, Leslie Byrum, filed for reelection to the Gates County Board of Commissioners.

Regional filings this week included Clark Twiddy of Kill Devil Hills and Bob Steinburg of Edenton for the NC Senate District 1 seat. Both are Republicans.

Phillip Smith of Hobbsville filed as a Republican for NC House District 5. That seat is currently held by Ahoskie Democrat Howard Hunter III, who has also filed.

District (1) Attorney Andrew Womble, a Democrat, filed this week.

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

Another GOP candidate has filed for the newly created NC House District 1. William Keith Alexander of Columbia joins fellow Republican Ed Goodwin of Edenton seeking the seat. Windsor Democrat and Bertie County Commissioner Ronald (Ron) Wesson filed for the District 1 seat earlier in the week.

Democrat Erica D. Smith, formerly Smith-Ingram, has filed for re-election in NC Senate District 3, formerly composed of Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Hertford, Martin, Northampton, Tyrrell, and Washington counties; but will now constitute Northampton, Bertie, Martin, and Beaufort.  Charles (Chuck) Earley of Washington, NC has filed for the D3 state Senate seat as a Republican candidate.

The final filing came from a Republican challenger to the U.S. House District 1, held by incumbent G.K. Butterfield. Roger W. Allison of Durham filed in Durham County; Butterfield has yet to file.

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.