Veteran school board member secures re-election

Published 11:21 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Results of the 2016 election in Beaufort County show one incumbent staying and another unseated in the Board of Education races.

Longtime incumbent F. Mac Hodges is here to stay for another four years, after he went head to head with Chocowinity resident David Daniel, 64, for the District 5 seat.

Hodges took the race with 1,383 votes, as compared to Daniel’s 717 votes.

Daniel said Tuesday night that he would like to congratulate Hodges on his win.

“You can’t win if you don’t play,” Daniel said. “He’s a good guy. I ain’t got no problem with Mac.”

Kate A. Phelps was also on the ballot for District 5, but she dropped out of the race earlier this year, and it was too late to remove her name. However, she did receive 580 votes.

Incumbent Mike Isbell and Pinetown resident Terry W. Draper, 53, vied for the District 9 seat. Draper unseated Isbell by more than 400 votes.

“I’m fairly excited unless something’s going to change, of course,” Draper said. “I didn’t really do much campaigning. I mean, I’m not really a politician.”

“I’m just here to help the community,” he added.

The Board of Education had five of its nine seats up for grabs during this election, including districts 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9.

Board members are elected based on staggered, four-year terms. Elections are nonpartisan. A board member represents the county’s 14 schools, attending board meetings about two to three times a month. Members handle and make decisions on operational, budget and policy aspects of the school district.

Eltha Booth ran unopposed for the District 1 seat, Barbara Boyd-Williams was unopposed in her seeking the District 3 spot, and current Vice Chair Carolyn Walker was unopposed for the District 7 seat.

Booth acquired 1,973 votes, Boyd-Williams acquired 1,799 votes and Walker locked in 1,962 votes.

Although she ran unopposed, Walker said she made sure to campaign anyways.

“I was out at my precincts today because I don’t think any one vote should be taken for granted,” she said Tuesday night. “I do appreciate everyone that turned out to vote. … I’m so excited to be serving another term.”

The results of all races are preliminary and will not be officially confirmed until Nov. 18.