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GOP hopefuls file for office

As the filing period continues across the Roanoke-Chowan area, Gates County is seeing an increase in the number of candidates filing as Republican challengers to the normal Democratic establishment.

As of yesterday (Friday), Carol Whitt (Gatesville District) and Rebecca Crawford Parks (Gates District) have filed as GOP candidates for the Gates County Board of Commissioners.

The two Democratic incumbents now holding those respective seats – Jack Owens and Ray Freeman III – have filed for reelection.

Another GOP candidate – Melinda Parks Dewitt – filed this week for Gates County Clerk of Superior Court. The incumbent Clerk, Nell F. Wiggins, filed Feb. 12 for reelection. She is a Democrat.

Meanwhile, four individuals have filed for Sheriff of Gates County – Republicans James Gary Ingram and Bryan Daryl Johnson, and Democrats Robert Jordan and Nurnie Reid. Jordan is currently serving Gates County as its Interim Sheriff following the arrest of Sheriff Randy Hathaway last month on several charges.

Filing to date for the open seats on the Gates County Board of Education are incumbents Leslie Byrum and Glendale Boone.

As of Friday, incumbent Gates County Commissioner Billy Felton (Eure District) had yet to file.

Incumbent District Attorney Andrew Womble has filed for reelection for the First Judicial District, which includes Gates County.

Filing slowed in the other counties of the Roanoke-Chowan area this week.

As reported earlier, incumbent District 5 Commissioner – and current Commission chairperson – Ernestine Byrd Bazemore filed for her reelection bid on the Bertie County Board of Commissioners. Bazemore, a Democrat, will have a challenger for the seat in her district, newcomer and Bertie County farmer Carl Bond.

Incumbent Bertie Sheriff John Holley, a Democrat, filed for reelection. He will have a challenger in the May Primary as Adrian Lorenzo Bowen, a Windsor Democrat, has also filed for Bertie Sheriff.

Two Democrats have 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. That seat is currently held by incumbent Commissioner Stewart White, who announced earlier this week that he will not seek another term.

Incumbent County Commissioner Tammy A. Lee, a Colerain Democrat, filed to retain her District 3 seat (Colerain 1 and 2 areas) on the Board. She will be challenged in the Primary by fellow Democrat Corey Ballance Sr. of Aulander.

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

Valerie Asbell, a Democratic incumbent, filed for another term as District Attorney in Judicial District 6. She will be challenged in the May Primary by Norlan Graves of Roanoke Rapids.

There were no new filings this week in Hertford County.

There, as earlier reported, a three man race has developed for District 1 Commissioner to replace the retiring Johnnie Ray Farmer. Tim Wadsworth of Millennium, Leroy Douglas of the St. Johns community and former Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan Sr. have entered that race. All are Democrats, meaning they will square off during the May Primary.

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

Incumbent Hertford County Sheriff Dexter Hayes, a Democrat from the St. Johns community, filed. Also filing for Sheriff is former Ahoskie Mayor Brien Lassiter. 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.

Incumbent Hertford County Clerk of Court Shirley Johnson is, to date, the lone individual filing for that elected office. She is a Democrat.

Since candidate filing opened Feb. 12, a dozen people have submitted their names for open seats across Northampton County.

Three Board of Commissioner seats will be listed on November’s ballot. Incumbents Robert Carter of Pendleton (District 4) and Fannie Greene of Garysburg (District 5) are currently running for reelection unopposed. Both are Democrats.

The District 3 Commissioner seat will first see a Democratic primary on May 8 before the final election in November. Incumbent Chester Deloatch of Rich Square will go head-to-head against Nicole Boone, also from Rich Square.

Dennis Babb, a Republican from Potecasi, is also vying for a chance at the District 3 seat. No Republican primary will be held unless another candidate enters their name before the filing period ends next week.

A primary election for the position of Sheriff will also be held between Democratic candidates Brenda Burnette of Jackson and incumbent Jack Smith of Gaston.

Laquitta Green Cooper, a Democrat from Jackson, is currently running unopposed for reelection for the Clerk of Superior Court position.

Three seats are open for the Northampton County Board of Education. Candidates who submitted their names so far are Catherine Moody of Garysburg, Lucy Edwards of Henrico, Marjorie Edwards of Rich Square, and Rhonda Taylor of Potecasi. Both Edwards and Taylor are incumbents.

Regional filings include 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.

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

Windsor Democrat and current Bertie County Commissioner Ronald (Ron) Wesson has filed for the NC House District 1 seat. Two Republicans have also filed for that seat – William Keith Alexander of Columbia and Ed Goodwin of Edenton

Democrat Erica D. Smith, formerly Smith-Ingram, has filed for re-election in NC Senate District 3. (Chuck) Earley of Washington, NC has also filed for the same state Senate seat as a Republican candidate.

U.S. House District 1 incumbent G.K. Butterfield, a Democrat, has filed for reelection. Roger W. Allison of Durham has filed for that same seat as a Republican.

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.