The race is on!

Published 5:53 pm Friday, March 4, 2022

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With the close of the filing period at noon on Friday, candidate lists are set for the upcoming primary election which will be held on May 17.

Filing originally opened in December 2021, but was halted due to litigation over redrawn maps for North Carolina’s Senate and House districts as well as the US House districts. After new maps were made official, filing resumed on February 24.

The following candidates will be listed on the ballot for local races:

In Bertie County, candidates include Michael White (Board of Commissioners, District 2), Corey Ballance, Sr. (Board of Commissioners, District 3), Ronald (Ron) Roberson (incumbent, Board of Commissioners, District 5), Vasti F. James (incumbent, Clerk of Court), Tyrone M. Ruffin (Sheriff), Timothy Hardy (Sheriff), and Greg Atkins (Sheriff).

All are registered Democrats.

Gates County candidates include Jonathan T. Craddock (Board of Commissioners, Eure District), Chris Odom (Board of Commissioners, Eure District), Brian Keith Rountree (Board of Commissioners, Gates District), Ray Freeman (incumbent, Board of Commissioners, Gates District), Jack Owens (incumbent, Board of Commissioners, Gatesville District), Monica Horton-Wiggins (Clerk of Court), and Ray Campbell (incumbent, Sheriff).

All are registered Democrats except for Odom, who is registered as a Republican.

The nonpartisan Gates County Board of Education race will be included during the primary as well. Those candidates include Sallie J. Ryan (incumbent, District 1), Charlie Scott (District 1), Ronnie L. Riddick (District 3), Rose Taylor Lee (District 3), Phil A. Kiver (District 5), and Leslie Byrum (incumbent, District 5).

In Hertford County, no challengers sought to unseat the incumbents this time. The candidates, who are all running unopposed for another term, include Leroy Douglas (Board of Commissioners, District 1), Andre M. Lassiter (Board of Commissioners, District 2), Shirley Gatling Johnson (Clerk of Court), and Dexter A. Hayes (Sheriff).

All are registered Democrats.

Residents of Ahoskie will also be able to cast their vote for three town council members during the primary. This race was postponed from municipal elections in 2021 due to redistricting based on results from the 2020 U.S. Census.

The candidates in that nonpartisan race include David Hunt (At-Large), Jamie Burns (incumbent, At-Large), Charles W. Freeman (incumbent, Ward A), Bobby D. Lean (Ward A), and Roy E. Sharpe (incumbent, Ward B).

Northampton County candidates include Nicole J. Boone (incumbent, Board of Commissioners, District 3), Ed Martin (Board of Commissioners, District 3), Melvetta Broadnax Taylor (Board of Commissioners, District 4), Joyce V. Buffaloe (incumbent, Board of Commissioners, District 4), Richie Harding (Board of Commissioners, District 5), Kelvin Edwards (incumbent, Board of Commissioners, District 5), Caroline M. Long (Board of Commissioners, District 5), Laquitta Green Cooper (incumbent, Clerk of Court), Jack E. Smith (incumbent, Sheriff), and Tony Burnette (Sheriff).

All are registered Democrat, except for Long who is a registered Republican.

Northampton County voters will also choose among those who filed to fill three seats on the Board of Education, a nonpartisan race. Those candidates include Lucy M. Edwards (incumbent), Catherine B. Moody, Shakila Evette Spruill, Rhonda Taylor (incumbent), Marjorie Edwards (incumbent), Vivian Plum King-Jackson, and Julius O. Webb.

Additionally, Northampton voters will also have a chance to choose who will serve out the remainder of Josephine Dunn’s seat on the Board of Education. Dunn passed away unexpectedly in February 2021. The two candidates who filed for that seat are Franklin D. Williams and Clinton M. Williams.

In addition to local races, the primary will also include a number of statewide, regional, and federal races to narrow down the number of candidates for the general election.

All four counties of the Roanoke-Chowan area are included in NC Senate District 3. The candidates in that race are Valerie Jordan of Warrenton (Democrat), Ernestine (Byrd) Bazemore of Aulander (incumbent, Democrat), and Bobby Hanig of Powells Point (Republican).

Bertie County voters are now in NC House of Representatives District 23. Shelly Willingham, a Democrat from Rocky Mount, and James Crowell Proctor, a Republican from Whitakers, are the two candidates in that race.

Hertford and Gates County voters are included in NC House District 5. Democrat incumbent Howard Hunter III of Ahoskie has filed for a chance to be reelected. Republicans Donald Kirkland of Ahoskie and Bill Ward of Elizabeth City have also filed for the seat.

Northampton County is included in NC House District 27. Republican Wes Tripp of Roanoke Rapids has filed to seek that seat. Democrat candidates Michael H. Wray of Gaston (incumbent) and Jerry McDaniel of Roanoke Rapids have also submitted their names.

In the race for District Attorney, voters in District 7 (which includes Bertie, Hertford, and Northampton counties along with Halifax) will choose between Democrat candidates Jamal Summey of Roanoke Rapids and Kim Gourrier Scott of Murfreesboro.

Valerie Asbell, the current District Attorney who has served in the position for more than 21 years, announced this week that she would not seek reelection.

Gates County is included in prosecutorial District 1. Candidates for District Attorney in that district include Republicans Jeff Cruden of Kill Devil Hills and Kim Pellini of Moyock.

Other races to be included on the primary ballot include US Senate, US House of Representatives, NC Supreme Court Justice, NC Court of Appeals Judges, Superior Court Judges, and District Court Judges.

In federal races, the only candidate who hails from the Roanoke-Chowan area is Erica D. Smith of Gaston, a Democrat who previously served as a state senator. She has filed for a chance at the US House of Representatives District 1 seat. Congressman G.K. Butterfield, who has represented that district for several terms, announced his intentions not to seek reelection when the maps were redrawn last year.

Early voting for the primary begins Thursday, April 28 and runs through Saturday, May 14. Following the May 17 primary, the general election will be held on November 8.