O’Neal retains mayor’s seat

Published 12:47 am Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Across Beaufort County, this year’s municipal elections were largely uncontested, and the poll numbers from the six towns and one city in the county corroborate this was a municipal elections-only year.

Belhaven had some closely contested races.

Adam O’Neal defeated Ronald Winfield for the mayor’s seat with 61 percent of the vote.

“I think it’s always good to have opposition in an election,” said O’Neal from a celebration at Fish Hooks restaurant in Belhaven. “It gives the community the opportunity to hear issues on both sides.”

O’Neal attributes his re-election, as well as the election of the new aldermen, to people showing their appreciation for the progress the town has made in recent years.

“All the people did, in my opinion, is say, ‘We appreciate what you’ve been doing and keep it up,’” he added.

Belhaven’s race for East End aldermen seats was taken by Vic Cox and Cindy Ross, while on the West End, incumbent Robert Stanley defeated Thomas Ballard.

The voters’ aldermen choices were ones O’Neal wholly approves: “The council that has been elected is made up of truly selfless people who have the best interest of the town at heart. I think the town will get better and better with the people they’ve elected.”

O’Neal believes the new council will continue with the projects of the recent years, including the city’s $3.25 million breakwater project and the Black Bottom Cemetery renovation.

Also on the ballot in Belhaven was an initiative to allow the recall of elected officials. The measure passed by a 283-205 vote.

Bath, Chocowinity, Pantego and Washington Park each held mayoral and town board elections, though each candidate in these races ran unopposed for the available seats. In Bath, incumbent Mayor Jimmy Latham was re-elected, and Keith Tankard, John Taylor and Trisha Duffer were elected to the Board of Commissioners.

Chocowinity voters elected M.L Dunbar and Arlene Jones to that town’s board.

Pantego voters re-elected Glenda Jackson as mayor. They voted for Mart Benson, Richard Craig, Robert Floyd Edwards, Chad Keech and Stuart Ricks to serve on the town’s board.

Washington Park saw incumbent Mayor Tom Richter re-elected. The five open commissioner seats went to the five candidates: Lee Bowen, Patrick Nash, Jim Pagnani, Jeff Peacock and Don Wilkinson.

Aurora’s vote for two town commissioners was strictly a write-in affair, with George Jones as the top vote-getter with 38 votes. Alan Kutzing took the other seat with a vote count of 32. Jones and Kutzing must meet all eligibility requirements for a candidate before they can be certified as election winners.

Mike Patterson and Jeff Peed were unsuccessful in their write-in bids for seats on the Aurora board.

Twenty-one people voted in Pantego, 36 in Bath and 17 in Chocowinity.