Second Judicial District races mostly unopposed

Published 11:08 pm Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Political races come down to the wire on Election Day. For those in the running, the future is uncertain. But for a fortunate few, Election Day lacks the stress of the average campaign because these candidates are running unopposed.

On Beaufort County ballots, there were quite a few candidates with no opposition this year, from U.S. Congressman Walter B. Jones Jr. (R-3) to the four incumbent Beaufort County Board of Education members: Michael Bilbro, Butch Oliver, E.C. Peed and Terry Williams.

It was the same in North Carolina’s Second Judicial District, where Superior Court Judge Wayland Sermons Jr., District Attorney Seth Edwards, District Court Judge Regina B. Parker and Clerk of Court Marty Paramore were all unopposed in this election. That no one chose to run against any of them — all of whom are Democrats — could be attributed to a variety of reasons, according to some of these officials.

“In some situations, I think it’s that you have established yourself in your position,” Paramore said. “Over the 12 years that I’ve been here, I’ve been gaining the confidence of the people.”

Paramore’s last run was a bit different: he had two challengers for the Clerk of Court position.

“I like my chances much better today,” he laughed.

But he said he still appreciates an election, and doesn’t take his lack of challenger for granted.

“Campaigns are good because they keep everybody grounded and motivated, and it reminds you who you’re working for,” Paramore said.

Sermons said the lack of opposition could point toward the voting public believing they’re fulfilling voters’ expectations.

“I don’t want to read too much into it, but I think it means that the people in my district appear to be satisfied with the job I’m doing,” Sermons said. “I feel very fortunate that this is twice that people who may have considered running against me have decided they don’t need a change.”

Sermons said he partly attributes these unopposed Second Judicial District races to the ability of all the players in the system to meet regularly and work together toward common goals.

“Our district is so organized,” Sermons said. “We talk about what we need to get the job done and then we go do it.”

One of those common goals, however, is treating all those in the court system with fairness, and it’s paid off.

“I think that’s the reason we don’t have opposition, is that we treat people fairly,” Sermons said.