Tuesday, October 22, 2013 10:50 PM
Residents voting in town races
By Rochelle Moore | Times Staff Writer
Municipal races in Wilson County area towns and cities are taking shape with a field of competitors seeking mayoral posts or a seat on town boards.
Early voting has started at county board of election offices and is available in Wilson County, Nash County and Johnston County from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through Nov. 1. Early voting is also available on Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. in Nash and Johnston counties and from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. in Wilson County.
Polls for the Nov. 5 nonpartisan races will open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.
In Wilson County, there’s competition in the race for the Wilson City Council District 3 and District 7 seats. Councilman Donald Evans is seeking re-election to District 5 and Councilman Logan Liles is seeking re-election to District 6. Evans has no competition this year. On Tuesday, Donta Chesnut, a Wilson native, registered as a write-in candidate for the District 6 seat. Chestnut’s name will not appear on the election ballot.
Councilman Bill Blackman decided to not seek re-election this year in District 3, which leaves voters choosing between Thomas Fyle, co-owner of the Land of Learning Child Care, and Ricardo Dew, who retired from Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. Dew ran two unsuccessful campaigns for mayor in 2009 and 2012.
Councilman Bill Pitt, a longtime member of the city council, also decided this year to not seek re-election to District 7. Candidates vying for the District 7 seat are Derrick Creech, an educator who retired from Wilson Community College, and William Darden, self-employed, who also ran unsuccessful bids for mayor in 2012 and the city council District 7 seat in 2009. Scott Tuzil, a resident of Wilson for the past two years, recently registered as a write-in candidate for the District 7 seat but his name will not appear on the election ballot. Members of the city council serve four-year terms.
The nonpartisan municipal races on Nov. 5 also include many small towns in the Wilson County area. Races in the towns of Black Creek, Elm City, Lucama, Saratoga and Stantonsburg have little, if any, competition this year while the race for the Sims town board has drawn the most, with seven candidates seeking five seats.
In Black Creek, Ralph "Mack” Smith, a member of the town board, is seeking the mayor’s post for the first time. Mayor Roland Godwin is not seeking re-election to the mayor’s office that Smith’s father, Ralph Smith, held for nearly 30 years, from 1977 until his death in 2006.
The Black Creek town board will have five seats on the November ballot. Seeking a seat on the board are incumbents Ellen Dawson, Elton Franks Jr., Roland Lucas, Lisa Skinner and Damian Seltzer, a former member of the board. Howard Moore is not seeking re-election. The mayor and board serve two-year terms.
In Elm City, Mayor Grady Smith is seeking re-election to office, without any competition. Five seats on the Elm City town board will be on the ballot and all incumbents are seeking re-election, including Gil Wheeler, Marsha Wells, Melvin Cooke, Lewis Crockett Jr. and Dale Childress. The mayor and board serve two-year terms.
In Lucama, three seats on the town board will be on the ballot. Incumbents David Johnson, Tim Wiggs and Jed Simpson are seeking to retain their seats. Thaddeus Washington is also seeking one of the board seats. Lucama board members serve four-year terms.
In Saratoga, Mayor Tommy Hawkins is seeking re-election to office. Three seats are available on the town board, with incumbents Ronald McCormick and Elaine Saunders seeking re-election and Anthony Newcomb seeking the third seat. Michael Bass is not seeking re-election to office. The mayor and board members serve two-year terms.
In Stantonsburg, the board’s three incumbents, Jackie Grice, Robert Watson and Donnie Bass, are seeking re-election to office for another four years.
Sims Mayor Dana Hewett has no competition in her second bid for the town’s top post. Hewett was elected to office in 2011. Seven candidates are seeking five seats on the town board, with three incumbents, Ray Wells, Rhonda Payne and Bobby Ruffin seeking re-election. Danny Howell, Courtney Warren, Michael Hall and Louis Sparks Jr. are also seeking election to the town board. Susan Warren and Rebeka Burton are not seeking re-election to office. The Sims mayor and members of the town board serve two-year terms.
Area races for positions in Bailey and Middlesex have some competition this year.
In Bailey, Mayor Timothy Johnson is seeking election to office after being appointed to serve as mayor in May. Incumbent Shelley Carroll is the only town board candidate seeking re-election to office. The election includes two open seats on the board and one vacant seat of an unexpired term. Harold Flora is seeking the vacant seat. Allen Daniels, who ran an unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2011, and Phillip "Rocky” Winstead are also a seeking a seat on the board. The mayor and board serve four-year terms.
In Middlesex, Mayor Luther "LuHarvey” Lewis Jr. is seeking re-election to office and is being challenged by Vennie Brock and Dale Bachmann, who currently serves on the town board.
Two seats are open on the Middlesex town board, with incumbent Harold Meacombs seeking re-election. Brandie Holt, Robert Johnson, Ann Lewis and Stacey Meek are all seeking seats on the board. The mayor and members of the town board serve four-year terms.
In Kenly, Mayor David Grady has competition in his bid for his third consecutive term as mayor. Larry Smith is also seeking the mayor’s post. Two Kenly Town Council seats will be on the ballot and a third seat that is part of an unexpired term. Bonnie Williamson is seeking re-election and James Little and Joe McDougald are seeking a seat on the council. McDougald is seeking to fill the unexpired term of former council member Charlie Gilantzis. The Kenly mayor serves a two-year term while members of the council serve four-year terms.
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