Daniel takes on Hodges

Published 12:31 am Friday, February 3, 2012

David Daniel of the Chocowinity area is beginning his third run against school-board incumbent F. Mac Hodges.

Daniel has gone up against Hodges twice — the last time four years ago — for the District 5 school-board seat, but hasn’t won.

“Third time’s a charm,” Daniel said.

In 2008, Daniel tallied 39.78 percent of the vote, or 907 votes, in District 5.

The incumbent scored 60.18 percent of the vote, or 1,372 votes.

Daniels retired as an environmental specialist with the N.C. Division of Air Quality. Later, he coached varsity and/or junior-varsity softball at Southside and Washington high schools.

He was athletics director at Washington High School from 2006 to 2007.

Currently, Daniel is working as a data controller for the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries.

He has two sons and resides with his wife, Deborah, off Whichard’s Beach Road, at the southern extreme of District 5.

Daniel has experience as a Republican candidate for Beaufort County commissioner.

He has never held elective office.

Daniel said he’d pinpoint dropout prevention as part of his campaign.

“It’s got to be elected officials’ responsibility for improving the school system,” he commented.

An Old Ford-area resident, Hodges is in his 28th year on the Beaufort County Board of Education.

Hodges confirmed that, as of Thursday, he intended to run for re-election.

“I always say I’m not sure until the filing period comes,” he said. “I’m leaning toward filing again.”

He called Daniel “a fine gentleman,” adding, “At this time, I look forward to running against him.”

The filing period in North Carolina runs from Feb. 13 through Feb. 29.

School-board seats are nonpartisan. These races won’t be involved in the May 8 primary election, but will be decided in the Nov. 6 general election.

Kellie Harris Hopkins, Beaufort County’s elections director, explained that District 5 includes the entire Tranter’s Creek precinct, a small portion of the Old Ford and Chocowinity precincts and some of the Gilead precinct.

Two other school-board candidates have contacted the Washington Daily News regarding their intention to run. Those candidates, who reside in District 7, are Bill Sprenkle and Carolyn Walker.

District 7 incumbent Robert Belcher has said he will not run for re-election.