02/14/10 — Candidates begin filing for Duplin County primary

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Candidates begin filing for Duplin County primary

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on February 14, 2010 1:50 AM

KENANSVILLE - Candidates began filing in Duplin County this week for the 2010 primary elections.

Duplin residents will decide at the polls Tuesday, May 4 who will sit on the county Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners. Citizens will also select a county Sheriff, and senators to represent them in Raleigh and in Washington, D.C.

Ronnie Gene Kennedy Jr., David Joshua Jones and Pamela Thomas Edwards will challenge incumbent Harold Raynor for the District 3 seat on the Duplin County Board of Commissioners. The commissioners serve two-year terms.

Kennedy, Jones and Mrs. Edwards filed Monday, Feb. 8, and Raynor filed Feb. 9 to run in the election.

Raynor, who lives in Beaulaville, said he decided to run for re-election because he hopes to work with the board to address important county issues.

"There's a few things I'd like to accomplish that we haven't gotten done yet," he said.

Budget issues and Duplin County Hospital are his major concerns at the moment, Raynor said.

Raynor has already heard that he will face at least three opponents at the polls this year.

"I'm just going to keep on keeping on, doing the things I do," he said.

Kennedy, who lives in Pink Hill, said the time was right for him to step into the race.

"Basically I've kind of set to the sidelines over the past years, and we've watched a lot different things happen in our county, a lot of things with the commissioners and the Board of Education. I just felt like I wanted to offer some new, young, energetic leadership," he said.

Kennedy has been a self-employed businessman in Duplin County for 16 years, and supporting business is part of his reason for running for the commission seat.

"It means a lot to me, and I would like to make a better place for business and education and stir some economic development in our county," he said.

Candidate David Jones of Beaulaville has been interested in politics for a long time, and is running for office to become more involved. He lives in the county and does not qualify to run for a seat on the town council, so instead, he decided to run for the county commission.

Jones hopes to provide representation for a majority of the people in the county, he said.

"I believe I represent a majority of the working force here in Duplin County. I'm 42 years old and I get up every morning and go to the same job I've had for 17 years," James said.

Board of Education incumbent Charles Farrior III filed Feb. 9 to run again for his District 4 seat. School board members serve two-year terms.

Incumbent Blake Wallace will once again run for a four-year term as Duplin County Sheriff.

In other filings, incumbent Katie Quinn Harrell of Beaulaville will run for a four-year term as Clerk of Superior Court, Robert C. Hunter of Marion will run for an eight-year term as Supreme Court Associate Judge, Jane Gray of Raleigh will seek office as a Court of Appeals Judge, Leto Copeley of Hillsborough will run to become a Court of Appeals Judge and Russell J. Lanier Jr. of Wallace will run for Superior Court Judge for District 4A. Court of Appeals judges in North Carolina serve eight-year terms.

Several people have also filed to represent Duplin County residents at the state and national level. Marcus Williams of Lumberton, a Democrat, filed to run for a six-year term in the U.S. Senate. Michael Beitler of Oak Ridge, a Libertarian, also filed to run for the U.S. Senate. William Brent Jackson, a Republican from Autreyville, Thomas Christopher Humphrey, a Republican from Kinston and Gordon Vermillion, a Democrat from Kinston have filed to run for a two-year term in the District 10 seat of the state Senate.

Candidates have until noon Feb. 26 to file with the Duplin County Board of Elections. Voters must register to vote by Friday, April 9 at 5 p.m. to vote in the election on May 4. If needed, a second primary election will be held Tuesday, June 22.