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Nine candidates seek seats on county board

By Staff
Five Democrats to face
one another in primary
By MIKE VOSS
Contributing Editor
Nine candidates are running for the four seats on the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners that are up for election this year.
In Martin County, eight candidates are running for the three East District seats on the Board of Commissioners — seven Democrats and one Republican.
In Hyde County, there is no candidate for the Ocracoke Township seat on the Board of Commissioners.
Primaries will be conducted May 6. The last day to register to vote in the primaries is April 11. Absentee voting begins March 17 and ends April 29. One-stop voting begins April 17 and ends May 3. Primary winners advance to the general election, which is set for Nov. 4.
Beaufort County
The only local primary in Beaufort County will involve the five Democrats seeking seats on the Board of Commissioners.
Democrats Jerry Langley and Robert Cayton, both incumbents, are seeking re-election.
Fellow Democrats Stewart Rumley, Steve Steiner and Sonya Shamseldin are seeking election to the board, too. Rumley is a former Washington mayor. Shamseldin is a former Republican who changed her party affiliation in September 2006.
Republicans Jay McRoy, Hood Richardson, Del Stutzman and Bertie Daniels-Arnhols filed as candidates for the board. McRoy and Richardson are incumbents.
Republicans hold four of the seven seats on the board.
Five of the nine seats on the Beaufort County Board of Education are up for election this year. School-board elections are nonpartisan. The school board elections will be held Nov. 4.
Eltha Booth, who represents District 1 on the school board, is seeking re-election. She is unopposed.
John White, who represents District 3, is seeking another term on the school board. He is unopposed.
Mac Hodges, who represents District 5 on the school board, is seeking re-election. He is being challenged by David Daniel
In District 7, Robert Belcher, chairman of the school board, is seeking re-election. He is being challenged by Bill Sprenkle.
Mike Isbell, Jim Draper and Teeny Baker Jr. are candidates for the District 9 seat on the school board. That seat is currently held by H.E. Boyd, who did not file for re-election.
Jennifer Leggett Whitehurst, the county’s register of deeds, is seeking re-election.
Hyde County
Charles Ray Spencer, a Democrat and chairman of the Hyde County Board of Commissioners, is seeking re-election to the board. He represents District 5, Lake Landing Township. He is being challenged by Democrat Sharon Spencer.
Democrat Anson Byrd is seeking election as the board’s member from District 2, Fairfield Township.
Three seats on the board are up for grabs. The seats are held by Spencer, representing Lake Landing Township; Alice Armstrong, representing Fairfield Township; and Eugene Ballance, representing Ocracoke Township. Neither Armstrong nor Ballance filed for re-election.
Nobody filed as a candidate from Ocracoke Township.
Ballance will remain as Ocracoke’s representative on the board until he resigns or dies, at which time a procedure to replace him would begin, according to Cynthia Carawan, Hyde County’s elections director. The filing period will not be extended to allow someone to file as a candidate for the seat, she said.
Ballance was appointed to serve on the board last year after the death of Commissioner Nathan Sears.
Thomas Whitaker, chairman of the Hyde County Board of Education, filed for re-election.
All of the members of the school are elected at-large. The seats currently held by board Whitaker and Eric Cahoon are up for election this year.
Engelhard resident Willie Gray Shaw filed to seek a seat on the Hyde County Board of Education.
Cahoon did not file for re-election.
Incumbents Scott Bradley and Robert Touhey are seeking re-election to the Ocracoke Sanitary District’s board. Incumbent Wayne Hodges is seeking re-election to the Swan Quarter Sanitary District’s board.
Martin County
Seven Democrats are running for the three East District seats on the Board of Commissioners.
Incumbents Alphonzo “Al” Perry, Elmo “Butch” Lilley and Tommy Bowen filed for re-election. Dempsey Bond Jr., Dink Mills, Edwin H. “Eddie” Modlin and Willis E. Williams filed, too.
They will face each other in a May 6 primary, with the top three voter-getters moving on to the Nov. 4 general election.
Republican Sheri G. Copeland also filed as a candidate for one of the three East District seats.
Tina P. Manning, the incumbent register of deeds, filed for re-election.
Washington County
Gregory Boston and C.E. “Buster” Manning, both Democrats, have filed to run for the District 4 seat on the Board of Commissioners.
Incumbent Jean Alexander, a Democrat, has filed for re-election to the board. She represents District 1 on the board.
Incumbent Wallace Collins, a Democrat, is seeking to keep his District 1 seat on the Washington County Board of Education. Another incumbent Democrat, Mary Palin Hill, is seeking to keep her District 3 seat on the school board.
Chris Hassell, a Republican, is challenging Hill for that seat.
Elaine Vann, the incumbent register of deeds, has filed for re-election.
Other area races
Republican Thomas Madson, who lives in the Cypress Landing community of Beaufort County, is challenging Democrat Arthur Williams for the District 6 seat in the state House of Representatives.
Williams, the incumbent, is in his second two-year term in the Legislature. District 6 includes Beaufort County and part of Pitt County.
In Judicial District 2, two district-court judgeships are up for elections. Those judgeships are held by Chris McLendon and Michael Paul. Beaufort County is in that district. Paul and McLendon are seeking to keep their seats as judges.
Democrat Tim Spear, filed for re-election as the District 2 representative in the N.C. House of Representatives. Republican Chris East is challenging Spear for that seat. They live in Washington County.
Martin County Commissioner Ronnie Smith, a Democrat, filed as a candidate for the District 8 seat in the state House of Representatives. That seat is held by Rep. Edith Warren, a Democrat from Pitt County.