07/18/04 — Who's on the N.C. ballot

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Who's on the N.C. ballot

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on July 18, 2004 2:17 AM

The following is a short description of candidates seeking state office. Where possible, the candidates' Web sites are listed for more information. Note that both Democrats and Republicans can vote in the nonpartisan race between four candidates for a seat on the N.C. Court of Appeals.


N.C. House

4th District

Naverro Brown, Kenansville, is the pastor of Hine Chapel Free Will Baptist Church in Warsaw.

Martin L. Herring of Rose Hill worked for IBM and then worked for 10 years as a planning commissioner for the city of Goldsboro.

Russell Tucker of Pink Hill is seeking to return to the Legislature after a two-year absence. He is a former county manager who was first elected to the House in 2000.

U.S. House

1st District

G.K. Butterfield of Wilson is a former N.C. Supreme Court judge and, prior to that, a Superior Court judge for 12 years. He has been endorsed by the N.C. Association of Educators. www.gkbutterfield.com

Sam Davis, an Elizabeth City businessman, also ran in the 2002 Democratic primary, which was won by Frank Ballance. Davis has been a Pasquotank County commissioner. www.samdavisforcongress.com

Christine Fitch of Wilson is an assistant professor of education at East Carolina University. She has served on the Wilson County Board of Education for more than 14 years. www.fitchforcongress.org

Darryl Smith is the former communications director for former U.S. Rep. Eva Clayton. Smith is now a lawyer practicing in Wilson.


Mike Easley, originally of Nash County, was elected governor in 2000 after eight years as state attorney general. Previously, he had been district attorney for a three-county region in southeastern North Carolina. www.mikeeasley.com

Rickey Kepfer of Broadway filed for the office but is not actively campaigning for it.

Lt. Governor

Beverly Perdue of New Bern was elected lieutenant governor in 2000, the first woman to hold that post in this state. Previously, she served seven terms in the N.C. General Assembly, during which she was consistently ranked among the most effective legislators.

Curtis Hert Jr. filed for the office but was recently disqualified when it was discovered that he's an active military member serving in another state.

Commissioner of Agriculture

Britt Cobb, originally of Wilson, was appointed agriculture commissioner a year ago in the wake of the Meg Scott Phipps scandal. He has worked for the Department of Agriculture since 1972 and once headed the state's European office. www.brittcobb2004.com

Tom Gilmore of Julian has headed his family's nursery business for more than 30 years. He has also served three terms in the N.C. General Assembly. www.TomGilmore2004.com

Secretary of State

Elaine Marshall of Lillington has been secretary of state since 1997. She also served two years in the N.C. Senate. www.elainemarshall.com

Doris A. Sanders, of Raleigh, has worked in Ms. Marshall's office for two years. A political newcomer, she told a Raleigh newspaper that she was called by God to file for the office.

Schools Superintendent

June S. Atkinson of Raleigh has 33 years of experience as a teacher and school administrator, including work for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. www.june4schools.com

J.B. Buxton of Raleigh is the former senior education adviser to Gov. Easley. He has been endorsed by the State Employees Association, the N.C. Association of Educators, and the Greenville and Charlotte newspapers. www.jbbuxton.com

Marshall Stewart of Raleigh is a former classroom teacher who later was the state director of agriculture education. www.stewartforstudents.com


N.C. Senate

10th District

Adrian Ray Arnett of Pink Hill owns a motor sport business at Vernon Park Mall in Kinston.

Richard Jarman of LaGrange works at an area pharmaceutical company. He ran for the N.C. House in 2002 and lost to Stephen LaRoque in the primary.

U.S. Senate

Richard Burr of Winston-Salem has been in the U.S. House since 1995. Prior to that, he was the national sales manager for Carswell Distributing. www.richardburrcommittee.com

John Ross Hendrix of Cary is a graphic artist who disagrees with large sections of the Patriot Act and other actions of the Bush administration. www.senatorjohn.com

Albert Lee Wiley Jr., a physician from Salter Path, also ran for the Senate in 2002 and the U.S. House in 2000.

U.S. House, 1st District

Greg Dority, a Washington, N.C., native, is the managing partner of Sterling Security. He also ran as the Republican nominee for this seat in 2002. www.gregdorityforcongress.com

Jerry N. Williford of Oxford is a registered nurse at a state institution in Butner. He is making his first run for office. www.jerrywillifordforushouse.com


Patrick Ballantine of Wilmington has served for nearly 10 years in the N.C. Senate, six of those as his party's political leader there. He is a lawyer concentrating on real property, business and civil law. www.ballentineforgovernor.com

Dan Barrett of Advance is a Davie County commissioner who visited Wayne County several times during his campaign. He recently completed a walk across the state, during which he met with voters. www.barrettforgovernor.com

Bill Cobey of Durham was a one-term congressman in the 1980s and then a member of Gov. Jim Martin's administration. He later was a two-term chairman for the statewide GOP. www.billcobey.org

George Little of Southern Pines owns an insurance company in Moore County and has been actively involved in Republican Party campaigns. He was a member of Gov. Jim Holshouser's cabinet. www.georgewlittle.com

Fern Shubert of Marshville is in her fourth term in the N.C. General Assembly, although only her first in the Senate. She is a certified public accountant. www.forfern.com

Richard Vinroot, a former Charlotte mayor, is making his third run for governor, having also run in 1996 and 2000. He is senior partner in a Charlotte law firm. www.vinroot.com

Lt. Governor

Timothy Cook of Browns Summit previously ran for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Elizabeth Dole. He is employed as a research chemist. www.cook2004.com

Jim Snyder, a Lexington lawyer, finished second to Mrs. Dole in the 2002 Republican primary. He has also written several books. www.electjimsnyder.com

Thomas Stith, now in his third term on the Durham City Council, is making his first bid for statewide office. He is a manager for Progress Energy in Raleigh. www.stith2004.com

Attorney General

Thom Goolsby of Wilmington is a law professor and a trial lawyer. He has been endorsed by the N.C. Republican Assembly. www.thomforag.com.

Joe Knott, a Raleigh trial lawyer, has a long record of Republican activism. He has been endorsed by the Winston-Salem Journal. www.joeknott.org.

Wendell Sawyer is a Greensboro lawyer. He was a one-term member of the N.C. Senate in the 1980s and has also served on the N.C. Council on Developmental Disabilities.


Jasper N. Albright of Raleigh retired in 2003 after 29 years in the state auditor's office. He had overseen audits for the state departments of public instruction, transportation, revenue and agriculture, among others. www.albright2004.com

Leslie Merritt, president of a Zebulon financial firm, was a Wake County commissioner for four years. He was the Republican nominee in 2000 and narrowly lost to incumbent Ralph Campbell. www.lesmerritt.com

Commissioner of Insurance

C. Robert Brawley of Mooresville was a N.C. House member for 17 years, during which he served on the House's Insurance Committee. He has worked in the insurance business for 32 years. www.brwaleyfornc.com

Cindy Huntsberry is a Smithfield lawyer making her first bid for office. She previously has served on appointed Johnston County boards, including mental health and library. www.votehuntsberry.com

Commissioner of Labor

Cherie Berry of Newton was elected North Carolina's labor commissioner in 2000, the first woman to hold that post. Prior to that, she served seven years in the N.C. General Assembly. She owned LGM Ltd., which supplied the automobile industry.

Lloyd T. Funderburk of Matthews is a safety consultant for SSA Inc. He has not previously run for office. www.lloydfunderburk.info

Schools Superintendent

Bill Fletcher, a Cary businessman, has 11 years of experience on the Wake County Board of Education. He's been endorsed by the Winston-Salem Journal and Charlotte Observer. www.billfletcher.com

Jeanne Smoot of Raleigh is an English professor at N.C. State University with more than 30 years of classroom experience. She work in the administrations of both President Reagan and the first President Bush. www.smootforschools.com


Judge, N.C. Court of Appeals

Barbara Jackson of Raleigh is the general counsel for the N.C. Department of Labor. She has been a clerk for Justice Burley Mitchell on the N.C. Supreme Court.

Marvin Schiller is a Raleigh lawyer who ran unsuccessfully for the Court of Appeals in 1982 and the N.C. Supreme Court in 2000.

Alan Thornburg of Asheville was appointed to the N.C. Court of Appeals earlier this year after Chief Judge Sidney Eagles retired. He had been a legislative aide to U.S. Sen. Terry Sanford and a law clerk for U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sam Ervin III.

Marcus Williams of Lumberton is an assistant public defender in Robeson County. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1992 and the Court of Appeals in 2000.

More information on all four candidates is available at www.sboe.state.nc.us/pdf/2004JudicialVoterGuide.pdf. The top two finishers advance to the Nov. 2 general election.