Four incumbents return to school board

Published 8:14 am Wednesday, November 5, 2008

By Staff
Isbell claims District 9 seat, replaces Boyd
Staff Writer
In the election for five seats on the Beaufort County Board of Education, four incumbents kept their seats while the board picks up one new member.
In the nonpartisan race, Eltha Booth, running unopposed in District 1, garnered the most votes of any school-board candidate with 1,589 votes.
The board’s longest-standing member, F. Mac Hodges, received the second-largest block of votes with 1,375 votes. Incumbent Hodges ran for the District 5 seat against David Daniel, who collected 907 votes.
Hodges, vice chairman of the board, said he is appreciative of his continued support from voters in his district.
John White Jr., running unopposed in District 3, finished with two fewer votes than Hodges at 1,373 votes.
Chairman Robert Belcher retained his seat on the board with 1,291 votes. Incumbent Belcher beat out Bill Sprinkle, who received 816 votes, to represent District 7.
Belcher said his re-election to the board is much more significant than his election to the board in 2004.
Belcher said he is “real happy with the results.”
Belcher said he looks forward to getting started on his second term with new board member Mike Isbell, as well as all the board members. He said he will work with the board to improve the school system.
Isbell took the District 9 seat with 1,177 votes. He defeated Teeny Baker Sr., who garnered 711 votes.
The District 9 seat was up for grabs after incumbent H.E. Boyd did not file for re-election.
When contacted by the Washington Daily News, Isbell was not aware of his victory, but said, “I thank everybody that voted for me.”
He cited his background of teaching scripture as a pastor in Belhaven for many years as ample experience for him to be a school-board member.
Isbell said he believes the foundation of the school system is strong and looks forward to making it stronger.
Vote totals are unofficial and do not include provisional ballots, which will be reviewed when the Beaufort County Board of Elections canvasses ballots Tuesday.
A provisional ballot is given to a person — on the day of a primary or election — who may or may not be eligible to vote. To keep from denying an eligible voter his or her right to vote, poll workers provide that person a ballot. Before counting a provisional ballot, elections officials determine if the person who marked the ballot is a registered voter eligible to vote in that election.