11/06/08 — Gillespie keeps seat on Duplin school board

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Gillespie keeps seat on Duplin school board

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on November 6, 2008 1:46 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Incumbent Willie Gillespie turned back challenger Kraig Westerbeek in the race for the District 1 seat on the Duplin County Board of Education.

It was the only contested non-judicial local race in the county.

Gillespie finished with 54 percent of the vote, beating Westerbeek 1,861 votes to 1,569.

District 1 includes the central portion of the county.

"I feel like this is a vote of approval of the things I've tried to do this past four years, and I pledge myself to continue to represent all the people and do what is best for all the children," Gillespie said Tuesday night.

In other races involving Duplin voters, District Court Judge Carol Jones of Kenansville defeated challenger Andrew Jackson of Clinton easily, 43,019 to 29,072. In Duplin, Jones earned 10,245 votes to Jackson's 4,765, or 68 percent of the votes cast. District Court Judge Jim Moore of Jacksonville also easily beat challenger Stephanie Villaver of Jacksonville by 39,641 votes to 26,146. In Duplin, Moore received 8,716 votes to Villaver's 4,359.

District Court Judge Henry Stevens of Kenanville faced no opposition.

Other re-elected unopposed incumbents were state Sen. Charlie Albertson, state Rep. Russell Tucker, county commission newcomer Frances Parks, incumbent county commissioners David Fussell, Zettie Williams and Reginald Wells and Register of Deeds Hiram Brinson. Unopposed school board members Reginald Kenan and Hubert Bowden were also re-elected with no opposition.

In other races, 54 percent of the voters in Duplin favored John McCain for president, 53 perecnt favored Kay Hagan for U.S. Senate, 75 percent favored Congressman Walter Jones, and 73 percent favored Congressman Mike McIntyre.

They cast 59 percent of their ballots for Beverly Perdue and gave Walter Dalton nearly 56 percent in the race for lieutenant governor. Roy Cooper received almost 65 percent of the Duplin vote for state attorney general and Elaine Marshall received 61 percent in the race for secretary of state.

Duplin's turnout was high overall, with 19,864 people voting out of 28,769 registered, or about 69 percent.