Recount doesn’t change School Board race results

Published 6:12 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2020

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JACKSON – The Northampton County Board of Elections held a recount on Thursday, March 19 to review the results of the county’s Board of Education race from the primary election held earlier this month.

Nine candidates were on the ballot seeking four open seats on the school board. The recount determined that the four highest candidates remained the winners of the election.

Northampton Board of Elections Director Spinosa Clements shared the updated vote totals with the News Herald. There were only a few minor increases in the candidates’ totals.

Tony Burnette received the most votes at 2,685. Theresa Scott received 2,417 and Barbara A. Stephenson received 2,403.

The fourth candidate to secure a place on the Board of Education was Josephine Tyner Dunn with 2,013 votes. The unofficial results after the election originally showed her total as 2,010.

Only 19 votes originally separated fourth place from fifth according to the original unofficial results. Clinton McCray Williams, the fifth-place finisher who was seeking another term on the Board, was the one who requested the recount.

The recount narrowed the gap to only 17 votes, but it was not enough for the incumbent to serve again. Williams’ final vote total after the recount was 1,996 which is up five votes from before.

The final tallies for the other candidates were 1,703 votes for Keedra Whitaker; 1,217 for Sondra Goffington Dickens; 1,070 for Richie Harding; and 867 for Patrice Robinson Jordan.

Whitaker and Harding were also incumbents seeking another term on the Board.

The race also saw a number of write-in votes, including over 300 for Melissa Simmons.

The newly elected members of the Board of Education will be sworn in to begin their terms in July.

Clements noted that the county’s Board of Elections office remains open at this time, but due to precautions against COVID-19, she encouraged citizens to take care of any business with the Board of Elections via phone or mail. The number for the office is 252-534-5681.