Filing period starts out slow

Published 5:24 pm Monday, July 10, 2017

Curt Jenkins, in his first term as a member of the Chocowinity Board of Commissioners, is seeking to unseat longtime Mayor Jimmy Mobley.

Jenkins filed as a mayoral candidate Monday at the Beaufort County Board of Elections. If Jenkins wins the mayoral contest, he would have to resign from his seat on the town’s Board of Commissioners, according to Anita Bullock Branch, deputy director of the Board of Elections.

Also Monday, Washington Park Commissioner Wade Dale filed for re-election, as did Aurora Mayor Clif Williams.

The first day of the filing period for municipal elections — Friday — was slow. Just two candidates filed to run in the Nov. 7 elections.

Gil Davis, a former member of the Washington City Council, was the first candidate to file and pay the $10 filing fee at the Beaufort County Board of Elections. Davis is seeking a seat on the five-member City Council. All five seats on the council and the mayor’s seat are available this election cycle.

Patricia Bragg, an incumbent on the Aurora Board of Commissioners, filed for re-election later Friday.

“We had a slow day but we’re expecting it to pick up some next week,” wrote Branch in an email she sent late Friday afternoon after the board’s offices closed.

At the close of business Friday, 721 candidates across the state had filed and paid filing fees to run for office.

The filing period resumes Tuesday. Candidates may file from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The filing period ends at noon July 21. The Board of Elections conducts municipal elections for Aurora, Bath, Belhaven, Chocowinity, Pantego, Washington and Washington Park, which pay the board to conduct the elections.

In Washington, the mayor and five council members serve two-year terms. The terms of Mayor Mac Hodges and council members Doug Mercer, Richard Brooks, William Pitt, Virginia Finnerty and Larry Beeman expire this year.

In Aurora, voters will elect a mayor and two members of the four-member Board of Commissioners. The board seats held by Bragg and Raleigh B. Lee III and Williams’ seat are up for election this year, according to the Board of Elections. Board members serve four-year, staggered terms.

Bath voters will elect two members of the four-member Board of Commissioners this year. The four-year terms of commissioners Patricia Duffer and Jay Hardin expire this year.

Belhaven voters will pick a mayor and three members of the five-member Board of Aldermen. Mayor Adam O’Neal’s two-year term expires this fall. The seats held by Yvonne DeRuiz, Greg Satterthwaite and Steve Carawan are available this election cycle. Carawan was appointed to fill the vacant seat on the board created when Dr. Charles O. Boyette died. Boyette’s term did not expire until 2019, but because Carawan was appointed to that seat and not elected, he is required to file for election if he wants to keep the seat until 2019, according to Branch.

Chocowinity voters will elect two members to the town’s four-member Board of Commissioners and a mayor. The four-year terms of Mobley and commissioners Billy Albritton and Louise S. Furman expire later this year.

Voters in Pantego will elect a mayor and five members for the town’s Board of Commissioners. The mayor and commissioners serve two-year terms. The terms of current mayor, Stuart Edward Ricks, and commissioners Mart Benson, Reid Michael Gelderman, Robert Lilley, Chad Keech and Charles “Chuck” Williams expire in the fall.

Each seat on the five-member Washington Park Board of Commissioners and the mayor’s seat are available this election cycle. The two-year terms of Mayor Tom Richter and board members Dale, Lee Bowen, Belinda Cowell, Jeffrey A. Peacock and Patrick Nash end this year.

Successful candidates are sworn in at the first council or board meeting in December.


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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