11/08/06 — Turner, Raynor oust Howard, Albertson from Duplin board

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Turner, Raynor oust Howard, Albertson from Duplin board

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on November 8, 2006 1:45 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Two political newcomers unseated incumbent Duplin County commissioners Larry Howard and Arliss Albertson Tuesday.

Trucking company owner Cary Turner of Beautancus became Duplin's first unaffiliated county commissioner when he defeated Democrat Larry Howard for the District 2 seat on the board. Turner won overwhelmingly, collecting 70 percent of the votes cast -- 846 to Howard's 363. He carried every one of the four District 2 precincts, taking Howard's home precinct in Albertson by more than a 3-to-1 margin, 228 to 74.

In the District 3 race, former Elections Board member Howard Raynor of Cedar Fork defeated veteran commissioner Arliss Albertson. Raynor had 1,143 votes to Albertson's 621, carrying all but one of the eight precincts. Raynor, a Republican, carried Albertson's home precinct in Beulaville by 2-to-1.

Albertson said he saw his defeat coming.

"It's a sign of the times, with all the negative stuff from a lot of sources," he said.

He said he is relieved. There won't be any more sleepless nights.

"I took it home with me," he said. "I have no regrets. I know I did what was right while I was there."

Raynor said he is proud he kept his campaign positive.

He said he is being realistic about not trying to please everybody. If you do that, he said, you're probably not doing your job right.

What would he change in the way the county government is run?

"I need to look at the total picture and see where to go from there. I don't want to make any rash statements," he said.

Raynor said he wants to restore residents' faith in their county government.

"I don't feel the citizens have much confidence in the county government, because they're not being informed about what is happening," he said.

About 800 voters cast ballots early in Duplin. There were no problems with the county's new voting machines and returns came in smoothly, election officials said.

Turner said he had been pulling for Raynor.

"Together we'll have some clout," Turner said. "I think all the departments need to be more efficient for the sake of the taxpayers. We have to realize it's not our money we're spending. I think tonight is a result of taxpayer frustration. They would like to see (the county) operate more efficiently."

Turner worked for the county for 10 years in drainage and mosquito control. When the funding ended to that program, he was transferred to solid waste. He later struck out on his own and started his trucking company.

The two new commissioners didn't know each other until they started their campaigns in February. Over the course of campaigning, they said, they became friends.

"He and I have discussed a lot of things, and we see things eye-to-eye," Raynor said. "I think we're both oriented to the point where we can sort things out, not for ourselves, but for the citizens of the county."

He said they will not always agree on everything. He is sure everybody is going to have their differences.

"And we'll work through that," he said. "Neither one of us has an agenda. That's not what I want to be, an agenda person."