Trio request recount

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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JACKSON – Three close races in Northampton County from the primary election, held earlier this month on March 5, will be recounted by request from candidates.

Shakila Spruill

The recount will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 21 at the Northampton County Cultural and Wellness Center in Jackson. The recount is open for the public to attend.

The three races to be recounted include the Northampton County Board of Education, Northampton County Board of Commissioners District 1, and NC House of Representatives District 27.

There were four seats available on the county’s Board of Education, and six candidates filed for that race. Shakila Spruill, the candidate in fifth place according to the official results, requested the school board recount. A total of 15 votes separates her from fourth-place finisher Garry T. Elliott. Spruill received 1,884 votes to Elliott’s 1,899.

Charles Tyner Sr.

For the District 1 commissioner seat, incumbent Charles R. Tyner, Sr. requested the recount. After the county canvass, which was held on March 15, the results showed a margin of 32 votes separating Tyner from frontrunner Keith Hugh Edwards. Edwards received 1,473 votes (42.07 percent) while Tyner received 1,441 votes (41.16 percent). A third candidate in the race, Marcenda Rogers, received 587 votes.

No Republican candidates filed for the District 1 seat, so the winner of the primary will be unopposed in November’s general election.

Northampton elections officials will also hold a recount for NC House District 27. That seat represents not only the citizens of Northampton County, but Halifax and Warren counties as well. Incumbent Michael H. Wray, who appears to have lost to newcomer Rodney D. Pierce by a narrow margin of 35 votes, requested the recount.

According to the results from the county canvass to certify the election results, Pierce received 5,987 votes (50.15 percent) across the three-county district to Wray’s 5,952 votes (49.85 percent). In Northampton County, however, Wray came out ahead of Pierce by a margin of 197 votes (1,813 for Wray to 1,616 for Pierce).

Wray also requested a recount in both Halifax and Warren counties.

State law provides that a candidate has the right to demand a recount of the votes if the difference between the votes for that candidate and the votes for a prevailing candidate are not more than one percent (1%) of the total votes cast in the ballot item.

Michael Wray

“Despite recent statements by outside parties, my campaign has never made any claims of election fraud,” Wray said in a press release sent March 18. “Instead, we have only sought to make sure all of the votes have been counted. State law provides for a recount to insure that the votes have been correctly tabulated in close races like this one.

“The people of House District 27 deserve to know with absolute certainty who is the winner of this race. For that reason, I am seeking a recount of the vote. Were my opponent trailing by only 35 votes, I would expect him to do the same,” Wray added.

No Republican candidates filed for the District 27 seat, so the winner of the primary will be unopposed in November’s general election.

The last time Northampton County held an election recount was in June 2022 for the District 3 county commissioner seat. A six-vote margin separated candidates Nicole Boone and Ed Martin. Following that recount, the margin narrowed to just five votes, upholding the narrow victory by Martin.