11/14/07 — Harvey wins Fremont board seat

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Harvey wins Fremont board seat

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on November 14, 2007 2:10 PM

The Wayne County Board of Election broke out its red bowl to decide the tie in Fremont's District 1 election.

Al Lewis and incumbent Billy Harvey both received 11 votes in the general election. Billy Harvey won a drawing to become District 1 alderman, election officials said.

The tie held up after the Wayne County board of elections canvassed the voters, Wayne County Interim Board of Election Director Erin Burridge said.

That meant a drawing from a bowl of paper slips to decide who would become Fremont's District 1 alderman, Mrs. Burridge said.

A volunteer was picked from the audience who folded 10 slips of paper, five with each candidate's name.

Then the names were put in an "oval-shaped plastic red bowl" -- the standard tie-breaking equipment over at the board of election -- and the volunteer picked a name.

Elections Board Chairman Gene Riddle then opened the name and announced the winner, Mrs. Burridge said.

Al Lewis said that he was disappointed to lose a race by chance, but wished his opponent well. Lewis said he will probably run for office again when he has a chance in four years.

"Deep in your heart, you know it can go either way," Lewis said. "I know there's always another time. I'm not a sore loser. I'm glad that another good man got it."

Meanwhile, in Eureka, where few people are willing to put their name on the ballot and write-in candidates are the rule, one winner in last week's council race was disqualified because he was not a registered voter, as is required by state law.

Jose DeJesus received 16 votes, but was disqualified after Board of Election officials realized he had not registered to vote.

"Those 16 votes are now null and void," Interim Board of Election Director Erin Burridge said.

Mrs. Burridge said DeJesus thought he had registered to vote, and he now has done so.

DeJesus could not be reached for comment.

In his place, town resident Malcom "Bud" Finlay will be taking over the reins as Eureka town commissioner, with six total votes.

When told of his newly-elected position, Finlay said he was looking forward to serving.

"If I knew what I was going to do, I'd have more to say about it," Finlay said. "That sounds all right to me. I hope I'm big enough to take care of it. I'll do the best I can with it."

Finlay, a dental lab technician by trade, said he is very happy with Eureka.

He moved there after coming to the Goldsboro area to work with dentist George Mayo.

Finlay also spent 22 years in the Air Force and retired in 1971 from Seymour Johnson as a dental lab technician, he said.

Finlay said he hopes to serve the town of Eureka well.

"I love it (Eureka)," he said. "The people are just as nice as they can be. If I leave in the summertime, I come back with vegetables all over my steps. Yeah, I like it here."