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Campbell, Ingram advance in Sheriff’s race

GATESVILLE – If the results from Tuesday’s Primary Election hold firm, two veteran lawmen will go head-to-head in November for Gates County’s top law enforcement officer.

Meanwhile, Democratic incumbents on the Gates County Board of Commissioners and in the county’s Clerk of Superior Court office advanced to the General Election.

According to the unofficial results from the Primary, Ray Campbell edged out Robert (O.J.) Jordan to earn the Democratic nomination for Sheriff. On the Republican side of the Sheriff’s race, James Gary Ingram defeated Bryan Daryll Johnson.

Campbell, currently a School Resource Officer in the county’s Sheriff’s Office, collected 876 votes. Jordan, the county’s Interim Sheriff, was named on 811 ballots.

Rounding out the four-man Sheriff’s race for the Democratic nomination were Randy Hathaway, currently on suspension as Sheriff as he awaits his judicial fate on several alleged criminal charges, with 279 votes, and Nurnie E. Reid with 148 votes.

The race between Campbell and Jordan was tight throughout. They evenly split the county’s six precincts: Campbell winning Eure (195-23), Corapeake (73-49), and Hobbsville (131-71); while Jordan topped the ballot in Gatesville (122-90), Gates (114-112), and Sunbury (74-58).

Jordan held the advantage over Campbell in the One-Stop voting (353-215).

In the race for the GOP nomination, Ingram, a retired officer with the Norfolk (VA) Police Department, won all six precincts in defeating Johnson, currently an officer with the Murfreesboro Police.

Ingram received 204 votes, with his biggest support coming in the Corapeake area (54-12). Johnson was named on 95 ballots.

Gates County Democrats also supported two current members of the board of commissioners.

In the Gates District, Commissioner Ray Freeman edged challenger Moe Brooks, 1,083 to 965; while incumbent Jack Owens handily defeated newcomer Curtis Wilkins, 1,375 to 573, in the Gatesville District race.

Freeman won four of the six precincts, with his largest support coming in Eure (170-43) and Hobbsville (139-64).

Brooks, a businessman entering politics for the first time, held his own. He captured the Gates (159-152) and Sunbury (96-70) precincts as well as holding the advantage in One-Stop voting (419-336).

Owens, seeking his third term in office, swept all six precincts in capturing over 70 percent of the vote. His biggest support came in the Gatesville (174-66), Eure (151-64), Gates (194-91) and Hobbsville (152-57) precincts. He also earned the majority of the One-Stop votes (505-205).

Freeman and Owens now advance to November’s General Election where they will face GOP challengers Rebecca Crawford and Carol Whitt, respectively. Neither of the two women had Republican challengers in the Primary.

For Clerk of Superior Court, four-term incumbent Nell F. Wiggins outdistanced challenger Marsha F. Langston, 1,316 to 775, to earn the Democratic nomination.

Wiggins won all six precincts. Her largest margins were in Gatesville (170-80), Eure (200-22), Corapeake (115-34), and Hobbsville (174-45). She held a slight edge in One-Stop voting (397-361).

Wiggins advances to face GOP challenger Melinda Parks Dewitt in November. Dewitt was without a Republican challenger in the Primary.

Gates County voters also selected three members of the local Board of Education – newcomer Sallie J. Ryan (2,044 votes) along with incumbents Leslie S. Byrum (1,954) and Glendale Phelps Boone (1,936).

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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