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Hugh Credle was elected to become the new mayor of Weldon Tuesday night, winning the position over three other challengers.

Retired from the United States Postal Service eight years ago after more than 30 years of service, Credle is the first African American mayor of the town.

Credle, according to unofficial returns, won the seat with 110 votes in an election which throughout Halifax County saw 12.41 percent of its registered voters come to the polls.

“I’m elated to have won,” Credle said this morning. “I’m going to work strongly with the commissioners to help bring constant growth. We need to work on some of the structures to improve property so property values will increase.”

He said he wants to continue pursuing economic development projects in which the efforts over the last several years have brought in Weldon Mills Distillery and most recently the announcement by Roseburg this summer of the Roanoke Valley Lumber sawmill project.

On being elected the town’s first Black mayor, Credle said, “It is very much an honor.”

Credle is no stranger to public office. He was a member of the Weldon City Schools Board of Education for 20 years and served as chairman for seven years in a row.

The announcement that former Mayor Julia Meacham would not seek another term helped to seal his decision to run for the office.

“Mayor Meacham was doing a decent job,” Credle said. “I wanted to build up base support. I didn’t want to run against other African Americans. I signed up when she informed me (she didn’t plan to run again). It became the right time.”

In running for the office Credle said he “put troops on the ground and went door-to-door.”

Joining Credle on the board are three newcomers who also won Tuesday — Doris W. Garner, Stephanie Tillery, and Muzette Fitts Kiger. 

“In talking with some of the new members, we share some common interests in what needs to take place in Weldon,” Credle said. “We all agree we need to do something to make Weldon excel and not regress. We want to make sure Weldon grows.”

Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District

Three challengers in the race for the Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District Board of Directors ousted two of the board’s incumbents. One of the incumbents did not file for re-election.

In the race, Colby Lyles, James E. Kerr II, and Jon Baker defeated incumbents Gregory Browning and Eugene St. Clair.

Lyles, a financial advisor, ended the evening with the top votes in the race, getting 901. Kerr, a long time timber business owner, received 877 votes. Baker, who owns an auto glass company, collected 740 votes.

Kerr, who enters public office for the first time, said he chose to run because, “I have a little more time to give back to the community. I thought it was time to do something for the community. Water and sewer are key to any growth you have.”

Kerr said as a board member he wants to make sure the RRSD remains financially sound and that the infrastructure is maintained. “I want to keep everything reasonable as far as water rates and that we stay financially sound. I’m proud we got the support from the community.”

Baker, a former Roanoke Rapids City Council member, returns to public office after 11 years away.

“I felt like I wanted to get involved again and give back to my community which has been so good to me. Water is becoming the number one issue in the world. That was one of the drivers. We’re blessed with a plentiful supply.”

Lyles said he had a few people approach him as well as some of the employees of the RRSD. “From what I understood they had been dealing with a lot and I wanted to make a difference.”

He said the RRSD plays a vital role in the communities it serves, providing clean drinking water and sewage service. “The employees' hard work is extremely important for the citizens of Roanoke Rapids. It’s very important to have a board in place that understands everyone’s role and purpose including our own.”

On being the top vote-getter in the race he said, “I’m very appreciative of everybody’s support and confidence in me and I look forward to working with the employees and Mr. Kerr and Mr. Baker.”

Roanoke Rapids Graded School District Board of Education

A challenger and two incumbents won seats on the Roanoke Rapids school board Tuesday night.

Challenger Carol Dean, a retired educator, collected the most votes in that race with 868. Incumbent Ed Liverman collected 726 and 669.

Incumbent Joey Briggs failed to retain his seat.

Other races

In Halifax, incumbent Mayor John White was re-elected with 22 votes.

Incumbents Lisa M. Turner, Patterson Wilson, Christina Wells and William F. Johnson retained their seats. Kayla Mason, a newcomer, was also elected to the board.

In Hobgood, incumbent Mayor Dannie A. Flanary, was returned to office with 33 votes.

Ron Elkins, who had been appointed to the board, won his seat with 31 votes.

In Littleton, incumbent Mayor K. Owen Scott was returned to office with 24 votes while incumbent commissioners Clyde A. Johnston Jr. and Stephen Barcelo won re-election.

In Scotland Neck, incumbent Mayor Eddie Braxton was returned to office with 219 votes. Newcomers Gloria J. Cofield and Curtis Jackson won town commissioner seats.