Newcomers win pair of Gates County Commissioner seats

Published 5:02 pm Friday, November 11, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

GATESVILLE – Gates County citizens will see two new faces sitting at the table of county leadership, and a familiar face in a new place inside the office of Clerk of Superior Court.

While the vote totals Tuesday’s General Election remain unofficial, they show political newcomers Brian Keith Rountree, a Democrat, and Emily Truman, registered as an Unaffiliated candidate, replacing incumbents on the Gates County Board of Commissioners.

Rountree, who defeated Gates District incumbent Ray Freeman during the May Primary, advanced unopposed on the ballots printed for the General Election. However, there was a write-in campaign for Joshua Miller that attracted 1,861 votes, but Rountree prevailed by receiving 1,964 votes.

County voters by precinct were evenly divided on election day with Rountree listed as the top vote-getter in the Gates (520-415), Gatesville (494-274), and Sunbury (325-172) districts. Miller topped the balloting in the Eure (363-146), Corapeake (343-292), and Hobbsville (294-187) districts.

While his vote total was less on election day (1,133-to-666), Rountree overcame that by handily winning the early voting (One-Stop) where he held a 1,224-to-711 advantage and also outdistanced the write-in candidate in absentee by mail ballots (74-to-17).

In the race for the Gatesville District seat on the board of commissioners, Truman swept four of the county’s six precincts on Tuesday on her way to defeating three-term incumbent Jack Owens by receiving nearly 60 percent of the vote (2,412-to-1,723).

Truman led the balloting in the Eure (410-143), Gates (542-452), Corapeake (502-216) and Hobbsville (346-184) precincts. Owens held the edge in the Gatesville (444-371) and Sunbury (284-241) precincts.

Owens was favored more in the One-Stop balloting (1,099-940) and in absentee by mail voting (66-28).

The Eure District seat on the board of commissioners was also on this year’s ballot. There, incumbent Jonathan T. Craddock, a Democrat, defeated Republican challenger Chris Odom, 2,694-to-1,490. This marked Craddock’s first-ever election victory as he was appointed in November of last year to fill the unexpired term of Jonathan Jones who resigned from the board.

En route to receiving nearly 65 percent of the vote, Craddock swept all six voting precincts on Tuesday with his widest margins coming in Gatesville (615-191) and Eure (423-148). He also topped the One-Stop balloting (1,420-595) and absentee by mail voting (69-25).

In the race to replace retiring Clerk of Court Nell Wiggins, Monica Horton-Wiggins, a Democrat, gained nearly 67 percent of the vote to defeat Unaffiliated candidate Marsha Faulk Langston, 2,725-to-1,382.

Horton-Wiggins, who has worked for the past 26 years in the Clerk of Court’s office, swept all six precincts on election day. There, her largest margins came in Gatesville (639-176), Eure (388-153), Sunbury (375-146) and Hobbsville (381-132). She also led the One-Stop balloting (1,484-563), and absentee by mail (71-21).

Incumbent Sheriff Ray Campbell, a Democrat, was unopposed in his bid for another term. He received 3,498 votes.

Two men won the pair of seats available on the Gates County Soil and Water District board of Supervisors: Rick H. Morgan (2,484 votes) and R.E. Miller III (2,357).

At the top of the Gates County ballot were two prominent races for US Senate and US House of Representatives (NC District 1). In those races, Gates County voters favored Republican candidate Ted Budd over Cheri Beasley, a Democrat, by a 2,427-to-1,746 margin. Meanwhile, Sandy Smith, a Republican, was favored over Democrat Don Davis, 2,484-to-1,800, in the race for the US House.

Turnout in Gates County (52.68%) was the highest in the Roanoke-Chowan area as 4,393 of 8,339 registered voters cast ballots.

All tabulations are unofficial until the Gates County Board of Elections certifies the totals during their 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