Early voting for municipal elections begins Thursday

Published 7:32 pm Monday, October 16, 2017

Early voting for municipal elections in Beaufort County begins at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Voters from Aurora, Bath, Belhaven, Chocowinity, Pantego, Washington and Washington Park may mark ballots at the Beaufort County Board of Elections, 1308 Highland Drive, Suite 104, Washington. The elections are set for Nov. 7.

One-stop voting runs through Nov. 4 at the Beaufort County Board of Elections. Early voting (one-stop) will be conducted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 4.

Oct. 31 is the deadline to request an absentee ballot for the Nov. 7 elections, according to the N.C. Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.

Beaufort County’s seven municipalities had a combined 9,858 voters as of Monday.

Kellie Harris Hopkins, Beaufort County’s elections director, does not expect a majority of those voters to mark ballots during the early voting period. “I believe voter turnout will be light because it’s not a presidential election year,” she said earlier this month.

Washington’s 7,056 voters may vote for five of the 11 candidates seeking seats on the five-member City Council. Mayor Mac Hodges is unopposed in his re-election bid. Incumbent council members Doug Mercer, William Pitt, Virginia Finnerty and Richard Brooks are seeking re-election. Former council member Gil Davis, William “Bill” Clark, Robert Sands, John Butler, Roland Wyman, Gil Alligood and Gerald Seighman are running for council seats. Councilman Larry Beeman is not seeking re-election.

The mayor and council members serve two-year terms.

Belhaven’s 1,139 voters will choose a mayor from among five candidates this election cycle, but Adam O’Neal, the current mayor is not one of them.

Ricky Credle and Greg Satterthwaite, current members of the Belhaven Board of Aldermen, are seeking to replace O’Neal, as are Elola T. Moore, Arthur Bonner and Edith C. Guy.

Incumbent Yvonne DeRuiz filed for re-election as alderwoman for the town’s East End district, but although she had withdrawn from the election, her name will appear on the ballot. Also seeking to represent the East End district seat currently held by DeRuiz is Ricky Radcliffe. Running for the West End district seat on the board is Jay Wilkins. One East End seat and one West End seat are available this election cycle.

Mary F. Cox is the lone candidate to complete the unexpired term of Dr. Charles O. Boyette, who died while in office. That term ends in 2019. After Boyette died, Steven Carawan was appointed to the seat held by Boyette. Carawan did not file as a candidate in the special election for that seat or in the general election for a four-year term available on the board this election cycle.

The Belhaven mayor serves a two-year term.

Chocowinity’s 593 voters have opportunities to mark ballots in two contested races.

Mayor Jimmy Mobley faces a challenge to his re-election bid from Curt Jenkins, who is in the middle of his first four-year term on that town’s Board of Commissioners.

Incumbents Louise Furman and William J. Albritton have filed for re-election. Two of the four seats on the town’s board are available this election cycle. Elizabeth A. Ange is seeking a seat on the board. The mayor and commissioners serve four-year terms.

Bath has 220 voters eligible to vote this election cycle.

In an uncontested election, Patricia Duffer is seeking re-election to the Bath Board of Commissioners. The seat once held by Jay Hardin, who died earlier this year, is available this election cycle. David C. Johnson is seeking the other available seat on the board. The other seats on the board and the Bath mayor’s seat will be available in 2019.

Aurora’s 340 voters will pick a mayor and two commissioners. Mayor Clif Williams and incumbent Board of Commissioners members Patricia Bragg and Raleigh B. Lee are seeking re-election. Jeff Peed is seeking a seat on the board. Two seats on the town’s board are available this election cycle.

In another uncontested election, Pantego Mayor Stuart Ricks is seeking re-election, as are incumbent Board of Commissioners members Mart Benson, Chuck Williams, Chad Keech, Robert W. Lilley and Reid Gelderman. The mayor and commissioners serve two-year terms. Pantego has 132 voters.

Washington Park Mayor Tom Richter is seeking re-election, as are the five incumbents on the Board of Commissioners — Belinda Cowell, Wade Dale, Patrick Nash, Lee Bowen and Jeff Peacock. Washington Park has 378 voters.

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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