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Three incumbent Halifax County commissioners who first began their bids for reelection after filing in February for the May primary, regained their seats Tuesday evening, according to unofficial election returns.

Vernon Bryant, Rives Manning and Patrick Qualls faced opposition in May and again for this month’s election.

By the end of the evening they won and will be sworn in during the board’s first meeting in December.

According to the unofficial returns, which will be canvassed on November 16, Bryant earned 9,675 votes or 26.75 percent. Manning received 9,274 or 25.64 percent and Qualls received 8,798 or 24.33 percent.

Write-in ballots cast were 4,860 but it will not be determined until later how many of those ballots were cast for Ophelia Gould-Faison, who was a certified write-in candidate.

John Whichard, a Republican, received 3,561 votes.

“I want to thank God for this election and secondly my family and supporters who supported me,” Bryant said late Tuesday night. “I’m very confident that the right candidates won. We have very good commissioners and I look forward to serving with them.”

Bryant declined comment on Gould-Faison’s write-in campaign. “I want to focus on the three of us and the rest of the board continuing to move Halifax County forward in the right direction.”

Bryant said his focus will remain on economic development and education.

“In 2019 Klausner 2 is opening,” Bryant said. “That’s going to be a priority for me as well as my colleagues.”

While he wouldn’t elaborate, Bryant, who is the current chair of the board said, “We’re going to have job announcements within the next 30 to 60 days, maybe sooner. These jobs will have a positive economic impact for our tax base and job opportunities for our residents.”

Said Bryant: “We’re going to work with the local schools and try to improve upon our educational systems.”

Manning said he was concerned about the write-in campaign. “I had no idea what direction some people would go. I was very afraid folks who supported me in the past, if it had been a small turnout, would take the margin away. Instead we had a large turnout and took the margin away from the write-in candidate.”

Manning referred to a 44.63 percent turnout in Halifax County.

He said it has been a long road. “Me and Vernon and Patrick had to file in February and had to go through the primary.”

As far as he is concerned the write-in campaign “was not really a certification.”

Manning said the spring cycle was “very stressful and trying.”

That stress, he said, came from “trying to answer questions that had no basis but sounded good, false accusations, that’s hard to combat. It’s hard to combat a lie. After the primary it was less stressful for a couple of months and for the last month and a half it got stressful again.”

As far as another run four years from now, Manning said, “I will consider factors of my physical health and mental health.”

He said his goal in the next four years is, “I want to get some businesses open, some more industries open and good jobs.”

On Bryant’s comment about upcoming job announcements, Manning said, “I hope he’s right. That’s what we’ve been hearing and I look forward to it.”

Said Manning: “I want to thank the people who voted in this election. I want to thank those people that have worked hard for my, Patrick’s and Vernon’s reelection. I appreciate the confidence they have shown in how we have run the county the last few years.”

For Qualls, “It’s a been a long time. I’m happy it’s over. I congratulate all the people who signed their name on the line and ran.”

Qualls said he wasn’t concerned about the write-in campaign. “I wished the write-in candidate would have run in the traditional manner.”

Said Qualls: “I would like to thank all of the people who participated in the process including candidates and voters. It’s truly what makes our system great.”

He said his focus in the next four years will be jobs and education. “Quality jobs and quality education.”

Weldon City Schools

In another contested local race, incumbent Weldon school board members James “Tank” Williams, Tanya Byrd-Robinson and Tiffany Hale were reelected. Challenger Edith Jenkins also won a seat.

Uncontested local races

Wes Tripp, who won a contested race for county sheriff in the primary, received 15,611 votes.

Becky Spragins, who won a contested race in the primary for superior clerk of court, received 15,311 votes

Valerie Asbell, who won a contested race in the primary for district 7 district attorney, collected 14,622 votes in Halifax County; 5,853 in Bertie County; 7,087 in Hertford County and 5,836 in Northampton County.

State and federal races

In the United States House 1 race, democratic incumbent G.K. Butterfield beat Republican challenger Roger Allison by collecting 69.77 percent of the votes.

In the North Carolina Senate District 4 race, incumbent Democrat Toby Fitch won with  57.75 percent of the votes. Republican challenger Richard Scott had 40.24 percent of the votes and Libertarian challenger Jesse Shearin had 2.01 percent of the votes.

In the North Carolina State House of Representatives District 27 race, incumbent Democrat Michael Wray defeated Republican challenger Raymond Dyer with Wray collecting 69.31 percent of the votes.