05/03/06 — Harrell wil keep county clerk seat

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Harrell wil keep county clerk seat

By Turner Walston
Published in News on May 3, 2006 1:50 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Duplin County voters overwhelmingly returned incumbent Clerk of Court Katie Harrell to office Tuesday. Mrs. Harrell defeated Hubert "Pepsi" Merritt, 2471 votes to 272 to win the Democratic primary.

She faces no opposition in November.

In the Democratic primary for the District 3 seat on the county Board of Commissioners, incumbent Arliss Albertson fended off a challenge by Rebecca Judge to earn the nomination. He will face Republican Harold Raynor in November. Raynor defeated Titus Swinson, 174-71.

Mrs. Harrell thanked her supporters Tuesday night after learning she had secured her re-election.

"I'm very happy. I'm elated by the support that the county has given me," she said.

"I was really stunned," Mrs. Harrell said of the margin of victory. "That's a lot to live up to, but I'm going to try to."

Mrs. Harrell said a team effort led her to victory.

"I had a lot of people that worked for me today, had a lot of support," she said. "It was an effort by all of us."

Mrs. Harrell said she waited for results with supporters at a pig picking, but delayed her dinner.

"I didn't eat until after I got these numbers," she said. "And it was delicious."

Albertson defeated Rebecca Judge in the Democratic primary, 249 votes to 208. Attempts to reach Albertson Tuesday night and early today were unsuccessful.

Raynor said he felt fortunate to have won.

"It's turned out for the best, and we're just going to try to make it better," Raynor said Tuesday night.

Raynor said he isn't yet looking ahead to November.

"I'm going to approach it slowly, and have everything in place before I start doing a whole lot," he said.

Incumbent Russell Tucker won the Democratic nomination for the District 4 seat in the state House, defeating Martin Herring.

Tucker will face Republican Rich Kaiser in November.

Tucker received 2,266 votes in Duplin to 391 for Herring. The district includes four precincts in Sampson County. Sampson voting brought Tucker's total to 2,505 and Martin's to 450.

"I feel good," Tucker said. "We will now start working on the campaign for the November elections. Eighty-five to 15 percent, that's good. I appreciate the tremendous support."

In the other race on the Duplin ballot, Democrat Jennings Outlaw defeated incumbent Johnni Blackwell for the District 2 seat on the Duplin County Board of Education. He faces no Republican opposition in November.

"I'd just like to thank all of the supporters," Outlaw said. "I appreciate all the help that I've had with the campaign."

Suzanne Southerland, director of the Duplin Board of Elections, said the day went smoothly across the county.

"We were really pleased," she said. "You couldn't have asked for better."

Board members visited each polling place Tuesday to gauge response to new voting equipment from voters.

"They said they didn't hear complaints. They were very pleased," Mrs. Southerland said.

Final results were announced at the Board of Elections at about 9:45 p.m. Mrs. Southerland said new voting equipment did not speed up or delay the voting process.

"This is about par for the course for us," she said.