05/07/08 — Your Votes - Gaylor will be on ballot for District Court judge

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Your Votes - Gaylor will be on ballot for District Court judge

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on May 7, 2008 2:27 PM

Despite an early lead in the race for the open seat on the 8th District bench, judicial candidate Charlie Gaylor didn't want to "count his chickens before they hatched."

But as the numbers continued to roll in from the three counties in the judicial district -- Wayne, Greene and Lenoir -- he began to feel more comfortable with his lead.

In the end, the Goldsboro lawyer won the race with 16,508 votes, nearly 44 percent. Kinston lawyer Chris Rogerson finished with 11,122 votes and will face Gaylor in the general election in November.

Goldsboro lawyer Will Bland came in third with 9,952 votes.

The race was for the only one of five district court judgeships up for election. Incumbent Joe Setzer announced last year he would not seek re-election. Judges David Brantley, Lonnie Carraway, Tim Finan and Les Turner had no opposition. Judge Beth Heath's seat won't come up for election until 2010.

Gaylor captured 12,123 votes in Wayne County -- 57 percent --and said the big turnout worked in his favor.

"We were fortunate to have a good voter turnout," he said. "It always feels good when people in your home county support you like that."

He received 3,155 votes in Lenoir and 1,230 in Greene.

By late in the evening, he said he was ready to catch his breath.

"Someone once told me that it was like taking the bar exam. Now I know what she was talking about," he said, adding that the campaign required many hours of work and a big push to the finish.

"This was my first time running for anything, but I did grow up in a political family so I knew what to expect," he said.

Gaylor's father, Charles Gaylor Jr., served as judge, and his mother, Mildred, was a member of the Goldsboro City Council.

"It can be fairly draining, but also it has a lot of good points," he said. "I got to meet people I wouldn't normally meet, go to places I wouldn't normally go and make relationships I normally wouldn't have. That's the good thing about running for public office."

Gaylor said that he is looking forward to starting his campaign for the general election, but he said he wouldn't he wouldn't likely start before Labor Day.

"We will look at the fall and focus on where we need to go and what we need to do," he said.

Gaylor has practiced law for more than 30 years. He has been active in many local organizations, serving as chairman of the Wayne County Development Alliance and the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce. A noted local historian, he also has been the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. and the Distinguished Service Award from the Goldsboro Jaycees.

Rogerson said he is looking forward to moving onto the general election and said he was pleased with his support in all three counties.

Rogerson finished with 6,558 votes in Lenoir, 1,922 in Greene and 2,642 in Wayne.

"I couldn't have done it without them," he said.

Bland said he wished both Gaylor and Rogerson well. Bland received 6,483 of his votes in Wayne County.

"Charlie Gaylor and Chris Rogerson are good lawyers and fine gentleman," he said.

Bland also said that he enjoyed meeting "many wonderful people in Wayne, Lenoir and Greene counties" and was grateful for the support of so many people in his first run for elected office.