Bertie voters elect two new Commissioners

Published 5:05 pm Friday, November 11, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

WINDSOR – Michael White and Corey Ballance Sr. will have new part-time jobs beginning next month.

According to the unofficial results of Tuesday’s General Election, White and Ballance respectively won the District 2 and District 3 seats on the Bertie County Board of Commissioners. This marked the second attempt by Ballance to earn a seat on the board. He lost his first bid in the 2018 Democratic Primary.

In the District 2 race, White earned just over 65 percent of the vote en route to defeating Unaffiliated challenger and former County Manager Scott Sauer by a 3,991-to-2,074 count.

On election day, White carried eight of the county’s 12 voting precincts. His largest margins of victory came at Windsor 1 (359-162), Roxobel (216-97), Woodville (145-38) and Indian Woods (77-11).

White also held a big edge in early voting (One-Stop) where he outdistanced Sauer, 2,232-967, and also had more absentee by mail votes (59-19).

He will replace incumbent District 2 Commissioner Greg Atkins on the board. Earlier this year, Atkins filed for reelection, but withdrew that candidacy and instead filed for Sheriff. He was defeated in that effort during the May Primary.

Over in District 3, Ballance defeated two-term incumbent Tammy A. Lee, 3,405-to-2,728. In that race, Ballance carried seven precincts on election day with his widest margins coming in Roxobel (220-93) and Woodville (141-45). Lee, an Unaffiliated candidate, saw her largest share of support at the Windsor 2 (215-30) and Colerain 1 (173-41) precincts.

While Lee finished with more votes on election day (1,442-1,370), Ballance used a 1,974-to-1,268 edge in One-Stop voting to overcome that deficit. He also received the largest amount of absentee by mail votes (61-18).

District 5 Commissioner Ronald (Ron) Roberson was unopposed and earned a four-year term on the board by receiving 4,293 votes. He was appointed to that seat in January of 2021 to fill the unexpired term of former Commissioner Ernestine Byrd Bazemore.

Bertie County voters also decided a race for the District 4 seat on the Board of Education. There, the unofficial tally shows Vernetta Henderson edging Vivian B. Saunders, 2,584-to-2,188.

Meanwhile, Bertie Board of Education incumbents Rickey Freeman (District 2) and Christine Dudley (District 3) were unchallenged in their respective bids for reelection. Freeman collected 4,288 votes while Dudley was named on 4,130 ballots.

Incumbent Vasti F. James was unopposed in her bid for another term as the county’s Clerk of Superior Court. She received 4,463 votes.

Tyrone M. Ruffin was the only name on the ballot for Sheriff. He was formally elected to that position with 4,577 votes.

Two county residents earned seats on the Bertie Soil and Water Conservation District’s Board of Supervisors: Chad Whitehead (3,057 votes) and Blount Knowles (2,907).

In the national races, Bertie voters favored Democrat Cheri Beasley over Republican Ted Budd (3,469-2,769) for U.S. Senate and Democrat Don Davis over Republican Sandy Smith (3,578-2,713) for the U.S. House of Representatives – North Carolina’s First District.

Turnout for the General Election nearly reached 50 percent in Bertie County as 6,368 of 12,840 registered voters cast ballots.

The outcome is unofficial until the Bertie County Board of Elections conducts a canvass next week.

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.

email author More by Cal