Status quo shake up in Gaston

Published 4:53 pm Friday, November 5, 2021

Many familiar faces throughout Northampton County will serve another term of leadership in their respective towns, according to unofficial results from Tuesday’s municipal elections. But there were also a few races which shook up the status quo.

Challengers in Gaston managed to unseat the incumbents serving as mayor and town commissioners.

Deborah Lee James, who previously served as a town commissioner, was the top vote-getter for Gaston’s mayoral race. She received 76 votes. That was ahead of Alice Patrick Delbridge (46 votes) who was seeking another term in office. Terrance L. Smith, the other candidate on the ballot, received 12 votes.

Two seats were up for grabs on Gaston’s town commission, and they will be filled by Edward Porter, Jr. (79 votes) and Patricia Dale Penn-Jacobs (72). Incumbents Franklin Manning and Tony Hux received 51 and 42 votes, respectively.

In most other races throughout the county’s municipalities, however, incumbents were able to easily win another term.

Willie Thomas Barrett had no challengers in the race for mayor of Conway. He received 70 votes. Likewise, Gail C. Wade (66 votes) and Lokie W. Majette (60) will serve another term on Conway’s Board of Commissioners. No one else filed to run against the two incumbents.

In Garysburg, long-serving mayor Roy L. Bell was unchallenged in his bid for another term. He received 60 votes on Election Day.

Five seats were up for grabs for Garysburg Town Commissioner. Only four candidates filed for the chance at another term, and without opposition, were able to secure those seats again. Those incumbents were James Mayo (52 votes), Lola S. Ausby (51), Iris F. Williams (50), and Semiko N. Jacobs (46). The fifth seat will be filled by a write-in candidate, Rita Williams, who received 14 votes.

A write-in candidate in Jackson also managed to win a seat as a town commissioner. Matt Lassiter received 50 of the 59 write-in votes cast. He will be joined by incumbent commissioners Jim Gossip (58 votes) and Karin J. Clements (52). The other candidate on the ballot, Monty Hux, received a total of 13 votes.

Familiar names in Lasker will fill mayor and town commissioner seats, with none running against challengers. Dick Collier received 19 votes for mayor, while incumbent commissioners Charles M. Daughtry, Stevie Flythe, and Joan Lassiter received 18 votes each.

Reginald White received 115 votes for another term as Rich Square’s mayor. He ran unopposed.

In the Rich Square town commissioner race, incumbents managed to retain all five seats on the board. Those incumbents include Charles Eason (116 votes), Linwood C. Bryant (110), Larry Godwin (93), Raymond Joyner (92), and Marcia P. Majett (90). The other person on the ballot in that race, Peggy Cary, received 73 votes.

Like many other mayors in Northampton County, Geraldine Jerman Langford of Seaboard had no competition in her bid for another term in office. She received 97 votes.

Three seats were up for grabs on Seaboard’s town commission. Incumbents Alfred Kwasikpui (95 votes), LaQuitia Barnes-Curry (78), and George M. Jerman, Sr. (68) all received enough votes to serve another term. Linwood Fenton Clark, also seeking a seat, received 47 votes.

In Severn, George H. McGee received 31 votes to earn another term as mayor. He ran unopposed.

For Severn’s town commissioner race, six people sought five open seats. Tony Herman received the most votes (28), followed by Paige Pinnix (26), Parker Watson (25), Eloise P. Martin (22), and Marshall Lassiter (20). Troy Holloman, an incumbent commissioner, fell short by one vote, receiving 19 total.

The only race in Woodland was for two seats as town commissioner. David Cooper (74 votes) and Brian K. Christison (63) both secured another term. No one filed to run against them.

Residents in the western end of Northampton County who reside in the Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District were able to cast their votes for three seats on the district’s Board of Directors. Gregory L. Browning (71 votes) received the highest number of votes among the five candidates. Jon Baker (61) and James E. Kerr II (54) also secured enough votes to serve on the board. Colby Lyles (41) and Eugene St. Clair (15) fell short in their bid for election.

All results are unofficial until the polls are canvassed by the Northampton County Board of Elections.

Voter turnout for this year’s municipal elections was just over 18 percent of eligible voters throughout Northampton County’s nine towns. That’s a slight drop from 19 percent during the municipal elections in 2019.