05/09/12 — In Mount Olive, McDonald, Thompson win again by wide margins

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In Mount Olive, McDonald, Thompson win again by wide margins

By Kelly Corbett
Published in News on May 9, 2012 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mayor Ray McDonald and Commissioner-at-large Ray Thompson will continue to serve town residents -- even though the wait to hear who actually won the town council seat was a little longer than usual.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m., the current mayor, commissioners, opposing candidates and their families waited anxiously for the results outside of the Mount Olive historic train depot. It would not be until hours later, however, that the results were available.

As the depot results came in, Thompson's opponent, Joe Scott, came in with an additional 11 votes for that polling station. Then, Carroll Turner drove over the Carver Cultural Center results, and Thompson came out ahead at the two polling places.

Thompson left thinking the results were all in, but the truth was absentee ballots, early votes and another precinct were not included in the results.

He would later go on to reclaim his seat by a vote of 441 to 353.

"I feel good," Thompson said. "I'm going to enjoy working, keep things moving forward."

Thompson said he was worried about losing his seat, but thanked the citizens of Mount Olive for his re-election. He said in his sixth term he is ready to see Steele Memorial Library move into its new location and to see the Phase I Water System Improvements project begin.

"We got a lot of work cut out for us in the next year and a half, and I'm going to be right in the midst of it," he said.

McDonald, however, cruised to an easy victory, claiming 642 votes as compared to the 180 cast for his opponent James Harold Mayo Jr.

Mayo could not be reached for comment.

Before he left the depot for dinner, McDonald was sure the additional votes, not yet included in the count, would not have much of an impact on the outcome of the mayoral seat.

"I'm happy about the vote I got," he said.

McDonald said he is ready to tackle three main items in town -- Steele Memorial Library's move, the Phase I Water System Improvements project and moving the recreational facilities from Daughtry Field to the old Carver High School campus.

"Three main goals. Recreation is No. 1," McDonald said.

Later Tuesday night, Thompson's opponent, Scott, took his defeat in stride, saying there will be other times he can run again. Scott previously served on the board in the 1990s as District 3 commissioner and mayor pro tempore.

"I think I did pretty good considering I was wheelchair-bound," he said.

Scott said he was proud to carry the depot precinct, and thanked Thompson for running a clean campaign.

"He's a good man," Scott said. "I've enjoyed running against him."

District 2 commissioner Hosea Manley, District 3 commissioner George Fulghum and District 4 commissioner Gene Lee were all uncontested and will remain in their seats.

Edward Earl Cromartie, Sr. will take Kenneth Talton's District 1 seat. Talton is running for the Wayne County Board of Commissioners District 2 seat.