Candidate bows out of Belhaven Aldermen race

Published 6:11 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2019

BELHAVEN — A candidate on the ballot for the Belhaven Board of Aldermen, Jimmie Southerland, has said she will not seek the office in the upcoming municipal elections. Southerland is among five candidates who filed to run for two positions on the BOA representing the town’s eastern district.

Although Southerland will not be actively campaigning, her name will still appear on the ballot, according to Beaufort County Board of Elections Director Kellie Hopkins.

“She hasn’t become ineligible, she’s just made a decision not to seek the office,” Hopkins explained. “There’s a difference.”

Earlier this month, Washington City Council Candidate Laurence Doby announced that he would not seek election due to a change of residence that placed him outside of the city limits. After a meeting of the Beaufort County Board of Elections, Doby’s name was removed from the ballot because he would no longer be eligible to serve on the city council.

“The board cancelled his notice of candidacy due to his being ineligible to hold the office,” Hopkins said.

For Southerland, it’s too late to have her name removed from the ballot. The deadline to withdraw candidate filings was a few days before the filing period ended in July. She says she plans to throw their support behind other candidates in the race.

“There were just too many people running for the same two seats,” Southerland said.

With Southerland not seeking office, the field narrows to four candidates competing for two seats — James Lawler, Myers Williams, Nathan Van Nortwick and Veronica Ward. Information concerning a second candidate no longer seeking office could not be confirmed by press time on Tuesday.

The deadline to register to vote at local precincts on Election Day is next Friday, Oct. 11. One stop voting begins on Oct. 16 and continues through Nov. 1 at the Beaufort County Board of Elections. Precincts for each municipality will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 5.