Primary Election is March 3

Published 6:18 pm Friday, February 28, 2020

After months of campaigning, the first major hurdle facing many political hopefuls comes Tuesday, March 3 during the Primary Election across the Roanoke-Chowan area and statewide.

Polls locally and statewide will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Voters still in line at 7:30 p.m. will be able to vote.

From a local government standpoint, voters in all four Roanoke-Chowan area counties (Bertie, Gates, Hertford, and Northampton) will see contested races.

In Bertie, incumbent District 1 County Commissioner Ronald (Ron) Wesson is challenged by Pamela Chamblee. Both are Democrats from Windsor.

Bertie voters also have a local referendum on their ballot, one asking if citizens support or oppose a one-fourth of one penny hike in the state sales and use tax.

The only local race on the Gates County ballot is for one, non-partisan seat on the county’s Board of Education. There, political newcomers Amanda J. Pacitto and Carl B. Cox, both of Sunbury, are seeking the District 4 seat. Meanwhile, incumbent School Board member, and current Chairman, Ray Felton is unopposed on the ballot to retain his District 2 seat.

Hertford County voters have a race to decide for the District 1 seat on the Board of Commissioners. There, incumbent John D. Horton faces challenger Tim Wadsworth. Both are Democrats from Ahoskie.

The Northampton County ballot has three races for local leadership seats.

For County Commissioner (District 1 – Democrat), newcomer Marcenda Rogers of Conway seeks to unseat incumbent Charles R. Tyner Sr. of Murfreesboro. Tyner is currently the chairman of the board.

For County Commissioner (District 2 – Democrat), incumbent Geneva Riddick-Faulkner of Rich Square is challenged by Tim Hollowell of Woodland.

In a non-partisan race for the Northampton County Board of Education, Theresa Scott of Conway, Barbara A. Stephenson of Conway, Keedra Whitaker of Rich Square, Clinton McCray Williams of Garysburg, Tony Burnette of Jackson, Sondra Goffington-Dickens of Jackson, Josephine Tyner-Dunn of Murfreesboro, Richie Harding of Pleasant Hill, and Patrice Robinson Jordan of Rich Square are on the ballot. The top four vote-getters will earn seats on the Northampton School Board.

R-C area voters will also choose among candidates seeking to represent them in the North Carolina General Assembly.

Tuesday’s Primary will see incumbent Democrat Howard Hunter III of Ahoskie challenged for his District 5 seat in the NC House of Representatives by Keith Rivers of Elizabeth City.

Incumbent District 27 Representative Michael Wray of Gaston faces two Democratic challengers: Kelby Hicks, also of Gaston, and Jerry McDaniel of Roanoke Rapids.

Only one of the local District Court seats is challenged in the Primary. There, incumbent Judge Vershenia Ballance Moody of Gaston faces the challenge of Roanoke Rapids attorney Jamal Summey.

At the federal level, voters can choose among numerous candidates who are vying for their political party’s nomination for president of the United States. Those candidates are:

Democrats: Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson, Andrew Yang, Michael Bennet, Joseph R. Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, John K. Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, and Amy Klobuchar.

Republican: Donald J. Trump, Joe Walsh, and Bill Weld.

Libertarian: James Orlando Ogle, Steve Richey, Kim Ruff, Vermin Supreme, Arvin Vohra, Max Abramson, Ken Armstrong, Dan Behrman, Kenneth Blevins, Souraya Faas, Erik Gerhardt, Jedidiah Hill, Jacob Hornberger, Jo Jorgensen, Adam Kokesh, and John McAfee.

Also seeking their party’s presidential nomination are Don Blankenship and Charles Kraut of the Constitution Party, and Howie Hawkins of the Green Party.

For U.S. Senate, Erica D. Smith, Steve Swenson, Cal Cunningham, Trevor M. Fuller, and Atul Goel are seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination.

On the Republican side for the same seat are incumbent Senator Thom Tillis, Paul Wright, Larry Holmquist, and Sharon Y. Hudson.

Four Republicans are seeking their party’s nomination to seek the U.S. House of Representatives (District 1) seat. They are Sandy Smith, Ethan Baca, Jim Glisson, and Michele Nix. The winner of that race will advance to meet incumbent Congressman G.K. Butterfield, a Democrat who is unchallenged in the Primary.

Voters will see a long list of candidates seeking seats at the state level of government. They are:

Governor (Democrat): Ernest T. Reeves and incumbent Roy Cooper;

Governor (Republican): Dan Forest and Holly Grange;

Lt. Governor (Democrat): Allen Thomas, Bill Toole, Terry Van Duyn, Chaz Beasley, Yvonne Lewis Holley, and Ron Newton;

Lt. Governor (Republican): John L. Ritter, Mark Robinson, Scott Stone, Andy Wells, Buddy Bengel, Deborah Cochran, Renee Ellmers, Greg Gebhardt, and Mark Johnson;

NC Attorney General (Republican): Jim O’Neill, Sam Hayes, and Christine Mumma;

NC Auditor (Democrat): Luis A. Toledo and Beth A. Wood;

NC Auditor (Republican): Anthony Wayne (Tony) Street and Tim Hoegemeyer;

Commissioner of Agriculture (Democrat): Walter Smith, Jenna Wadsworth, and Donovan Alexander Watson;

Commissioner of Insurance (Republican): Ronald Pierce and Mike Causey;

Commissioner of Labor (Republican): Chuck Stanley, Josh Dobson, and Pearl Burns Floyd;

Secretary of State (Republican): E.C. Sykes, Chad Brown, and Michael LaPaglia;

Superintendent of Public Instruction (Democrat): Keith A. Sutton, James Barrett, Constance (Lav) Johnson, Michael Maher, and Jen Mangrum;

Superintendent of Public Instruction (Republican): Catherine Truitt and Craig Horn; and

NC Treasurer (Democrat): Dimple Ajmera, Ronnie Chatterji, and Matt Leatherman.

NOTES: Taking photographs of voted ballots is prohibited. Voters are allowed to have phones or electronic devices with them while voting as long as those devices are not used to photograph a ballot or communicate with anyone via voice, text, email or any other method.

Voters may bring voting guides, notes and other materials into the voting booth. They also may use electronic devices to access a slate card or candidate information, provided they don’t use a device to communicate with anyone.

In races where there are multiple candidates (except for Board of Education), the candidate who receives the second-highest vote total in a primary contest may demand a second primary if no candidate receives more than 30 percent of the votes cast for all candidates in that contest. The top two vote-getters would be on the ballot for the second primary. There is no second primary for presidential contests.

A candidate who is apparently eligible to demand a second primary, according to unofficial results, must file a written request with the executive director of the State Board of Elections by noon on the ninth day after the primary, or Thursday, March 12, 2020. Any request would be subject to the certification of official results by the State Board. Requests for a second primary from candidates for state senator or state representative in a single-county district or candidates for county offices must be submitted to the appropriate county board of elections.

If no federal contest requires a second primary, the second primary would be held April 21, 2020. If any federal contest requires a second primary, the second primary for all contests would be held May 12, 2020.

Voter ID is not required for the March 3 Primary in North Carolina.

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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