Candidates vie for chance at fall ballot
By Steve Herring
Published in News on May 6, 2012 1:50 AM
Wayne County voters go to the polls Tuesday to select candidates for offices from the county courthouse to the White House. The polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.
The May 8 primary features a full slate of candidates from the president and Congress to governor and Council of State to several county races. Also, voters in Goldsboro, Mount Olive and Fremont will vote in municipal elections delayed from last November because of redistricting.
However, perhaps the issue that has garnered the most attention is not an election at all, but a proposed amendment to the state constitution providing that "marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.
"This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts."
The second paragraph of the proposed law is not on the ballot.
The options are to vote "for" or "against" the amendment.
The Register of Deeds is the only county office in which there is a Democratic primary. There is no Republican running for the position in the fall.
Wayne County Register of Deeds Lois Mooring of Goldsboro, who has served in the position since 2004, is seeking a third term in office.
Constance Coram of Goldsboro is trying for the second time to unseat Mrs. Mooring. Mrs. Coram, a former employee of the Register of Deeds Office, lost out by a 2-to-1 margin four years ago.
There are three races in the nonpartisan Wayne County Board of Education primary.
Incumbent at-large member Eddie Radford of Goldsboro is being challenged by Len Henderson of Dudley who currently represents District 2. Henderson was appointed by county commissioners last year to complete the unexpired term of Shirley Sims, who stepped down after moving to Garner.
Dwight Cannon and Ven Faulk, both of Dudley and who had both been candidates for the appointment to complete Mrs. Sims' term, are battling for the District 2 seat.
In District 3, board member Thelma Smith is facing Charles Wright Sr.
There are two Republican races for the county commission including a three-way contest for the District 1 seat now held by Ray Mayo, who was appointed in December to complete the unexpired term of Andy Anderson.
James Beckwith and Jeff Pearsall, both of Pikeville, also are seeking that seat. Beckwith lost out to Anderson in the 2008 primary.
There is no Democratic challenger on the November ballot.
It is a two-way Republican race in District 5 where the winner will face Democratic Commissioner Bud Gray in November.
The candidates are Bill Pate of Goldsboro and Jeff Jennings of Pikeville.
Jennings ran unsuccessfully four years ago for the at-large seat.
Non-partisan municipal elections for Mount Olive and Fremont will decide who will win those seats outright Tuesday.
There are two contested races in Mount Olive. Mayor Ray McDonald Sr. is being challenged by James Mayo and At-large Commissioner Ray Thompson is being challenged by former town board member Joe Scott.
Other members of the board are unchallenged: Ed Cromartie, District 1, who is running for the seat left often by Kenny Talton, who is running in November for the District 2 seat on the county commission; Hosea Manley, District 2; George Fulghum, District 3; and Gene Lee, District 4.
There also are two contested races in Fremont.
Mayo Pro-Tem Leroy Ruffin and Darron Flowers are seeking the mayoral seat. Alderman Leon Mooring is facing a challenge from Brenda C. Hicks.
Unchallenged are: Al Lewis, District 1; Willie Smith, District 3; Harold Cuddington, District 4; Joyce Coley Reid, District 5; and Annie Lewis, District 6.
There is a bit of controversy in the county's only Democratic legislative contest.
Former District 5 Democratic state senator Don Davis of Snow Hill is trying to regain the seat he lost two years ago to Republican Louis Pate of Mount Olive. Because of redistricting, Pate is no longer in District 5 and instead is in District 7 where he is running unopposed.
Tony Moore of Winterville had filed for District 5, but the state Board of Elections ruled that he is ineligible because he had not lived in the district long enough to run for the seat. Moore, whose name is still on the ballot, has said he will appeal.
However, state elections officials say votes for Moore will not be counted.
There is no Republican opposition in November.
A second race pits two incumbent Republicans against each other. Rep. Jimmy Dixon of Mount Olive is defending his District 4 seat against Rep. Efton Sager of Goldsboro. Sager is the current District 11 representative. Redistricting put him in District 4.
The winner will face Democrat Delores Kennedy of Mount Olive and Libertarian Kevin Hayes of Mount Olive in November.
In the third race, Republican Rep. Stephen LaRoque of Kinston is facing a challenge from John Bell IV of Goldsboro in District 10. The winner will face Democrat James Hardison of Kinston in November.
On the national level, Democrats will select their candidates for House Districts 1 and 13 and Republicans for District 13. Both new districts contain portions of Wayne County.
Incumbent Democratic First District Congressman G.K. Butterfield of Wilson is being challenged by Daniel-Lynn Whittace of Henderson.
The winner will face Republican Peter Dilauro of Weldon and Libertarian Darryl Holloman of Goldsboro in the November general election.
Democrats Bernard Holliday of Creedmor and Charles Malone are vying for the District 13 House office. Three Republicans have filed for that seat -- George Holding of Raleigh, William Randall of Wake Forest and Paul Coble of Raleigh.
The only district court judge to face a challenge is Lonnie Carraway of Snow Hill, who is being opposed by Ericka James and Annette Turik.