Municipal races develop
With the exception of Ahoskie and Lewiston Woodville, the filing period has ended for candidates seeking election to municipal seats across the Roanoke-Chowan area.
The most crowded field of candidates is in Murfreesboro where eight individuals are seeking to earn enough votes to fill the five seats on the Town Council.
All five incumbents on the Murfreesboro Town Council are seeking reelection: David Brown, Craig L. Dennis, Jay Revelle, Berna L. Stephens, and Sara Whitley Wallace. They will face the challenges of political newcomers Tim Flanagan, James (B.J.) Futrell Jr. and Peter B. Griffith.
Incumbent Murfreesboro Mayor Hal Thomas is unchallenged in his reelection bid.
The Town of Harrellsville also has a race for its Town Council as six candidates are vying for the five available seats. Those filing are Deborah Baker, Wiley B. Gillam III, Thomas Grimes, Lisa Hunnicutt, Emma Perry, and Ronnie Revell Sr.
Henry Nuss, the incumbent Mayor in Harrellsville, was the lone candidate to file for that seat.
Meanwhile, the towns of Cofield and Como each attracted the exact number of candidates to match the seats available for the 2021 election cycle as follows:
Cofield: incumbent Mayor June S. Wynn filed for reelection along with five candidates for Town Council – Dacia Jenkins, Stephen Lassiter, Hermea Pugh Jr., Rhonda L. Taylor, and Pamela Jones Winbourne.
Como: incumbent Mayor Irvin L. Stephens Sr. filed for another term. Filing for the four seats on the Como Town Council are Lorie Higbee, Susan W. Kennington, Ann E. Spruill, and Sherrie H. Stephens.
In Winton, only three candidates filed for the five seats on the Town Council: Blake Blythe, Stephen Piland, and Emily (Emy) Winstead. The remaining two seats will be determined by write-in votes, according to the Hertford County Board of Elections.
Incumbent Winton Mayor Evans Heath filed for reelection and is unchallenged.
Filing for one seat each in Ahoskie’s Ward A and Ward B along with one at-large seat is delayed until later this year due to legislation enacted June 28 by the North Carolina General Assembly. That was necessitated by the fact that because 2021 is a year following the federal census, some municipalities who elect officials by districts or wards must redistrict to correct population imbalances. Therefore, filing periods and election dates for district-based contests are subject to change as they are contingent on the timeliness of the U.S. Census Bureau releasing data and state and local governments adopting redistricting plans based on that data.
In Bertie County, municipal election races have developed in Aulander, Kelford, Roxobel, and Windsor.
Incumbents Jamie Tinkham and Jason Tinkham have filed for reelection to the Aulander Board of Commissioners, which has three seats up for grabs during the 2021 election cycle. Two others also filed: Jerome Dail Jr. and Renee Draper.
A three-way race has developed for the mayor’s seat in Kelford. Incumbent Bailey Parker filed for reelection and will face two challengers in November: Randy D. Robtoy and Gary Randolph Scott Jr.
Over in Roxobel, five individuals have filed for the four seats on the town’s Board of Commissioners. Two are incumbents – David Lee Baisey and Robert Phelps – along with challengers Joseph Pittman, Dillon Pruden, and Johnna Browne Lewis.
In Windsor, three individuals have filed for two available seats on the town’s Board of Commissioners. Randy Whitaker is the lone incumbent seeking another term in office. Also filing are David L. Bunch and L.C. Hoggard III.
Also in Windsor, longtime Mayor Jimmy Hoggard opted not to seek another term. Lewis Hoggard, the Executive Director of the Windsor/Bertie Chamber of Commerce, filed for Mayor.
Filing for all other Bertie County municipalities is as follows:
Askewville: Mayor Gloria Bryant filed for reelection along with incumbent Town Commissioners Carla Pesce, Kay Brantley, and Michael Baker.
Colerain: Incumbent Town Commissioners Donald H. Sumner Jr. and Will Fairless filed for two of the three seats on the board. Herbert Copeland filed for the other seat, which is to fill an unexpired term.
Kelford: Five individuals filed for the five seats on the Board of Commissioners. Three are incumbents – Harvey Wayne Bland, John (Timmy) Eaton, and Jim T. Harrell. Also filing are Ken (KC) Cain and Michael A. Johnson Sr.
Powellsville: Incumbent Mayor James Peele is seeking another term, as are incumbent Town Commissioners Hattie Askew, Carlyle Hoggard, and Gerald Waters.
Roxobel: Incumbent Mayor Gary Johnson filed for reelection.
Filing for municipal seats in Lewiston Woodville opens at 12 noon on Friday, July 26 and ends at 12 noon on Friday, Aug. 13.
Nearly 50 candidates submitted their names for various municipal races in Northampton County. Some will face competition from newcomers, while others will run unopposed.
In Conway, there are two town commissioner seats open as well as the mayor’s seat. Willie Thomas Barrett, the current mayor, was the only candidate to file for that race. Similarly, incumbent commissioners Lokie W. Majette and Gail C. Wade were the only candidates to file for the two open commissioner seats.
Roy L. Bell, the current mayor of Garysburg, will seek another term unopposed. There were five open town commissioner seats, but only four candidates chose to file for election. Those candidates are Lola S. Ausby, Semiko N. Jacobs, James Mayo, and Iris F. Williams. All four are currently serving as town commissioners.
In Gaston, Mayor Alice Patrick Delbridge will face competition from two challengers in the upcoming election. Those candidates are Terrance L. Smith and Deborah Lee James, who is currently a town commissioner. For the town commissioner race, four candidates filed for two open seats. Those candidates are Tony Hux, Franklin Manning, Edward Porter, Jr., and Patricia Dale Penn-Jacobs. Hux and Manning are both incumbents.
Residents of Jackson will vote for three open town commissioner seats. Candidates who filed are Karin J. Clements, Jim Gossip—both incumbents—and Monty Hux.
Dick Collier will once again seek another term as the mayor of Lasker. He is running unopposed. Stevie Flythe, Joan Lassiter, and Charles M. Daughtry are the candidates who filed for the three Lasker town commissioner seats up for grabs. All are incumbents.
In Rich Square, Reginald White filed for the mayor’s seat. He is running unopposed for another term in office. For town commissioner, six candidates will vie for five seats on the town’s board. Those candidates are Linwood C. Bryant, Peggy Cary, Charles Eason, Larry Godwin, Raymond Joyner, and Marcia P. Majett. All but Cary are incumbents currently serving on the board.
As in many other Northampton County towns, the current mayor of Seaboard will seek another term with no competition. Geraldine Jerman Langford was the only candidate who filed for mayor. On the town board of commissioners, three seats are up for grabs. The four candidates who submitted their names are LaQuitia Barnes-Curry, Linwood Fenton Clark, George M. Jerman, Sr., and Alfred Kwasikpui. All are incumbents except for Clark.
George H. McGee, the current mayor of Severn, will be running unopposed for another term. Six candidates filed for five open seats on the town’s board of commissioners. Those candidates were Tony Herman, Troy Holloman, Marshall Lassiter, Eloise P. Martin, Paige Pinnix, and Parker Watson. With the exception of Lassiter, all are currently serving as town commissioners.
The only municipal race in Woodland will be for two open seats for town commissioner. Brian K. Christison and David Cooper, both incumbents, were the only candidates who filed.
Residents who live in the Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District will have the opportunity to vote for three open seats on the district’s Board of Directors. Jon Baker, Gregory L. Browning, James E. Kerr, II, Colby Lyles, and Eugene St. Clair were the five candidates who filed for this race. Browning and St. Clair are incumbents.
With the exception of Ahoskie, the 2021 municipal election in the Roanoke-Chowan area will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 2.