06/22/08 — Duplin Commission District 1 runoff to be held Tuesday

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Duplin Commission District 1 runoff to be held Tuesday

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 22, 2008 2:00 AM


News-Argus Staff Writer

KENANSVILLE -- A runoff race between Frances Parks of Calypso and Jimmy Dixon of Mount Olive for the Democratic nomination for the District I seat on the Duplin County Board of Commissioners is being credited by local elections officials for the large number of one-stop ballots that have been turned in thus far.

The runoff is Tuesday.

Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Election results will be displayed in the auditorium at the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service building when the polls close.

Duplin Elections Supervisor Suzanne Southerland said that 247 one-stop voting ballots had been cast as of Friday afternoon.

A "steady" number of voters were in the elections' office Friday afternoon, Mrs. Southerland said. She said there were several people in line as she was speaking to the News-Argus.

One-stop voting continued through Saturday at the Duplin County Board of Elections.

Another 79 ballots have been mailed in. Additional ballots could arrive through the mail as late as Monday, she said.

"It (early voting) is lot heavier than I had expected," Mrs. Southerland said.

Mrs. Southerland said she did not have access to what precincts the voters were from, but that she feels sure the local race is fueled the early voting.

In prior years with only state races, the ballot count has been much, much lower, she said.

Mrs. Parks, a retired educator, had 775 votes (39.8 percent) in the May primary, just shy of the 40 percent needed to claim the victory outright. Dixon, a farmer, had 728 votes (37.39 percent) to finish second in the four-way race.

Dixon called for the runoff while the Duplin County Board of Elections was in the midst of the vote canvass.

Tuesday's runoff is open to all Democratic voters and to unaffiliated voters who voted in the Democratic primary or who did not vote.

The winner faces no announced opposition in November.

Also on the ballot will be a statewide race for the Democratic nomination for insurance commissioner between Mary Fant Donnan and John C. Brooks.