Lengthy ballots awaiting voters
Published 6:50 pm Monday, November 7, 2016
When voters go to the polls today, they will mark ballots in one of the most-historic presidential elections.
If Hillary Clinton wins, she will become the first female president-elect. If Donald Trump, 70, wins, he will become the oldest president to take office.
In Beaufort County, polls open at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7:30 p.m. At the end of the early voting period at 1 p.m. Saturday, 14,489 voters — an early voting record in the county — had marked ballots at the Beaufort County Board of Elections office and at satellite sites in Aurora, Belhaven and Chocowinity. That number of early voters is 43.7 percent of the county’s 33,132 registered voters.
Beaufort County voters will select four candidates from among seven hopefuls to become members of the seven-member Beaufort County Board of Commissioners. Those candidates are Republicans Gary Brinn, Derik Davis, Jerry Evans and Hood Richardson and Democrats Robert Belcher, Jerry Langley and Greg Satterthwaite. Commissioners serve staggered four-year terms.
Republican Jennifer Leggett Whitehurst is unopposed in her bid to be elected the county’s register of deeds.
Beaufort County Board of Education members Eltha Booth (District 1), Barbara Boyd-Williams (District 3), F. Mac Hodges, (District 5), Carolyn S. Walker (District 7) and Mike Isbell (District 9) are seeking re-election. Terry W. Draper is a candidate for the District 9 seat on the school board, which is nonpartisan. Hodges faces a challenge from David Daniel for the District 5 seat on the nine-member board. Board members serve four-year, staggered terms. Kate A. Phelps dropped out of the District 5 race, but it was too late to remove her name from the ballot.
Tracy B. Warren is unopposed in his re-election bid for a seat on the Beaufort County Soil & Water Conservation District’s Board of Supervisors.
In other Beaufort County and area contests, Republican Bill Cook, the incumbent who represents District 1 in the North Carolina Senate, faces a challenge from Democrat Brownie Futrell. Each lives in Beaufort County, which is part of the district that also includes Dare, Hyde, Currituck, Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans and Gates counties.
Democrat Warren Judge, who had been running to represent the 6th House District in the North Carolina House of Representatives, died Saturday. His name will remain on the ballot.
Republican Beverly Boswell is seeking to represent the 6th District. Paul Tine, the current representative, is not seeking re-election. In January 2015, Tine changed his party affiliation from Democrat to unaffiliated. The district includes part of Beaufort County and all of Dare, Hyde and Washington counties.
Michael Speciale, the Republican who represents District 3 in the N.C. House of Representatives, faces a challenge from Democrat Marva Fisher Baldwin in his re-election bid. District 3 includes parts of Beaufort and Craven counties and all of Pamlico County.
Michael A. Paul and Chris McLendon are seeking re-election as district court judges in the 2nd Judicial District.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones, a Republican seeking his 12th-consecutive two-year term in Congress, faces Democrat Ernest T. Reeves in the Nov. 8 general election. Because of recent redistricting, all of Beaufort County is in the 3rd Congressional District. Before the redistricting, part of the county was in the 1st Congressional District.
Beaufort County voters also will mark ballots in the U.S. Senate race between Republican Richard Burr, the incumbent, and Deborah Ross, the Democratic challenger; state gubernatorial race between incumbent Pat McCrory, a Republican, and Roy Cooper, the Democratic attorney general; state judicial races at various levels; Council of State and other statewide races.