Leary launches write-in bid for mayor’s seat

Published 5:32 pm Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Joseph Carter Leary is mounting a write-in campaign to become the next mayor of Washington.


Leary, 70, said he decided earlier this week to seek the mayor’s seat being vacated by Archie Jennings, who is not seeking re-election. Mac “Bear” Hodges filed earlier this year to seek the mayor’s post.


The general election is Nov. 5.


“I just had my mind made up for me Monday morning, so we’re late getting started on this. Yeah, it’s a write-in campaign, on a very limited budget I might add,” Leary said Wednesday afternoon.


Leary, campaigning as Carter Leary (as he is better known), said several factors motivated him to launch the write-in bid.


“There are a lot of things within the city that need attention. I started working with my father, who was an electrician here in Beaufort County for years, when I was 8. So, that was my first indoctrination to city government, which back then was a lot better than what it is now,” Leary said. “My motivation is flood control, especially here on 12th Street, high taxes, stormwater-runoff taxes, things of that nature that need to have some work done on them, which I understand the mayor can’t do a whole lot about it without some good people behind him. It takes everybody working together to solve problems within the city.”


Among those problems is a drug problem, Leary said.


“A lot of things need to be cleaned up. I just though I might be able to donate some of my 70 years of knowledge to helping the city of Washington, which has been good to me. I thought I’d try to pass a little bit of it along,” Leary said.


Leary has notified the Beaufort County Board of Elections about his write-in campaign, said Kellie Harris Hopkins, the county’s elections director.


“What he has proclaimed, or certified, is that he is not accepting money. That if any money is spent on his campaign, it will be his own,” Hopkins said Wednesday. “He also filled out the paperwork with my office to start a campaign-finance committee.”


If a candidate spends $1,000 or more on his or her campaign, that candidate must begin filing campaign reports, Hopkins said.


“So far, he is under the threshold,” she noted.




About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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