Voters to decide parties’ nominees Tuesday

Published 9:48 pm Sunday, March 13, 2016

Area voters go the polls Tuesday to mark ballots in several primaries, helping choose presidential nominees to county-commissioner nominees.

Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. across North Carolina. Primary winners move on to the Nov. 8 general election, when they might or might not face opposition from other parties’ nominees.

Kellie Harris Hopkins, elections director for Beaufort County, expects a normal voter turnout Tuesday. “We’re not seeing a whole lot different,” she said Saturday about 20 minutes before early voting ended at 1 p.m. “In 2012 and 2008, we had right at 12,000 voters. I’m thinking we’re on course to do the same.”

Voter turnout increased noticeably during the last three days of the early voting period, which ended Saturday, she said.

In Beaufort County, five Republican candidates for the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners are in a primary to determine the four GOP nominees for that board. They are incumbents Gary Brinn and Hood Richardson. Don Cox, Derik Davis and Jerry Evans round out the GOP field.

There is no primary for Democrats seeking seats on the Board of Commissioners. Incumbents Jerry Langley and Robert Belcher are seeking re-election. Greg Satterthwaite is seeking a seat on the board. They face the Republican nominees in the general election.

Four seats on the board are available in the 2016 election cycle. Commissioners serve four-year, staggered terms.

Washington resident Ashley Woolard, a former U.S. House of Representatives candidate, and Dare County Commissioner Beverly Boswell are in the Republican primary to determine that party’s nominee for the 6th District seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Dare County Democrats Judy Justice and Warren Judge are seeking to become the Democratic nominee for the 6th District seat being vacated by Paul Tine, who changed his party affiliation from Democrat to unaffiliated nearly a year ago. Tine is not seeking re-election.

The district includes part of Beaufort County and all of Dare and Washington counties.

Republicans Walter B. Jones, Phil Law and Taylor Griffin face one another to determine the GOP nominee to represent the state’s 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Jones, the incumbent, is seeking an 11th term in Congress. The winner of that GOP primary faces Democrat David Hurst in the general election.

Across the state, voters will determine Republican, Democratic and Libertarian nominees for U.S. Senate, governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, Council of State positions, state Senate, state House and, in some areas, district attorneys.




Primaries for candidates seeking election to the U.S. House of Representatives are scheduled for June 7. Those primaries had been set for Tuesday, but the North Carolina General Assembly had to redraw congressional district maps after a federal three-judge panel ruled that the state’s 1st and 12th districts were unconstitutional because race was used in setting their boundaries.

Also, voters will participate in a statewide referendum to decide if the state will issue $2 billion in bonds to fund improvements to the state’s university system, community college system, National Guard and for other infrastructure needs.

Boards of elections are scheduled to canvass ballots March 22.






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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