Wednesday, 09 May 2018 00:32

Incumbents claim victory in Tuesday primary

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Incumbents candidates in Halifax County won in Tuesday’s primary election.

In elections which involved candidates representing multiple counties, incumbents were also elected.

Valerie Asbell won the district attorney’s race for Bertie, Halifax, Hertford and Northampton counties and Michael Wray, who collected slightly more than 57 percent, won the House of Representatives District 27 seat race over challenger Franklin Williams.

Wray will face opposition in November.

Incumbent commissioners Vernon Bryant, Rives Manning and Patrick Qualls won, keeping four challengers from gaining office.

Incumbent Sheriff Wes Tripp defeated Enfield police Chief Tyree Davis. Tripp collected 57 percent of the vote.

Incumbent Clerk of Court Becky Spragins won against challenger Michael Hawkins Sr. Spragins collected 57.54 percent of the vote.

In the Halifax County Board of Education race, incumbents Susie Lynch Evans, Claude Cooper and Joyce Silver Lashley beat out challengers Nicole Mills and Rachel Lynch.

Commissioners race

Bryant was the highest vote-getter in the county commissioners race, coming away with 5,228 or 21.35 percent of the votes.

Manning came in second, collecting 18.53 percent or 4,537 votes.

Qualls came in third collecting 4,375 votes or 17.87 percent.

Challenger O.D. Sykes came in fourth, followed by Rebecca Copeland, James Mills and Terry Buffaloe.

“I am elated with not only myself and my third term, but I am very pleased that Rives Manning and Patrick Qualls were re-elected. I look forward to continue serving with them as well as Carolyn Johnson, Marcelle Smith and Linda Brewer,” Bryant said.

Bryant said he earned a little time off but will continue to do his job. “We have the proposed budget. The county manager will make a presentation on that. We’ll be busy working on that. We’ll be working with the schools on different projects and working with economic development to get Klausner open.”

Manning said he was pleased. “I think it goes to show that citizens who voted for us this time were thoroughly disgusted with what our competition threw at us — the nasty calls, letters and that sort of thing. I was very disgusted with the methods they used. In my opinion that should be banned permanently.”

In particular, Manning referred to a report card published by the county chapter of the NAACP which gave him and the other incumbents Fs across the board in education, economic development, taxes, fairness, health outcomes, senior issues and quality of life.

He singled out Sykes, who is a minister. “For a preacher, that’s as low as it goes.”

He thanked his supporters, saying, “I want to especially thank all the people who worked hard to get us elected and supported us and carried the whole ball game. I appreciate that.”

He then gave a stinging thanks to opponents. “There’s special folks I want to bring a special thanks to — the group that put together the report card, the black caucus and Reverend McCollum for his attacks and targeting me. I think it shows that I’m doing something right and the majority of the voters tend to agree our whole county commissioners are doing a good job and are working for the good of Halifax County.”

Manning said he was pleased Bryant and Qualls won. “I am tickled to death that the three of us were elected. I’m pleased Vernon was the top vote-getter. He’s doing a great job as chair and Patrick is a terrific support person. All six of us work well together.”

Qualls said, “I’m happy to be a winner. I’m glad that the voters of Halifax County placed their faith in me once again. I look forward to the general election and serving four more years once again.”

The election saw a 25.53 percent turnout. Results remain unofficial until the May 18 canvas, said Spinosa Clements, deputy board of elections director.

Sheriff’s race

Tripp said, “I want to give honor and glory to our God. Second, I want to thank the voters of Halifax County for their continued support, my lovely wife Karen and my staff for all their hard work and dedication and especially my Chief Deputy Scott Hall and Major Neil Aycock.”

Said Tripp: “Today and tomorrow we will continue to better serve our communities throughout Halifax County. We will proudly continue our re-elections for 2022.”

Tripp acknowledged his opponent in the primary. “I would like to give a personal appreciation to Chief Tyree Davis in him running a very positive campaign. We have been friends since the beginning, during and will continue to be friends into the future.”

Tripp declined comment Tuesday evening on Jimmie Silver filing his paperwork to run for sheriff earlier in the day Tuesday.

Clements said the petition Silver filed will have to be verified by the board, which has until June 11 to do so.

Davis said, “First I would like to congratulate Sheriff Wes Tripp on his victory tonight. Thank you to everyone who helped and came and supported me in anyway through my career and this election.”

He thanked his campaign team “that helped me no matter how big or small. I’m grateful for everything you all have done and I hope that I showed you that you were appreciated.”

Davis said the election was well fought and clean, both in his camp and Tripp’s. “I ask that you continue to pray for all the candidates and their families. Once again I thank you.”

Davis would not comment on whether he may run again. “Right now I’m continuing to focus my time on bringing safety, security and service to the town of Enfield. I’m proud of the support and the numbers I have got from Halifax County.”

DA’s race

Asbell collected 11,915 votes — 57.13 percent — to beat challenger Norlan Graves, who collected 42.87 percent of the vote.

Graves swept Halifax but lost in the other three counties the district attorney’s office represents.

Asbell said in a statement, “It is an honor and a privilege to be re-elected to serve the people of these four counties. I will continue to work hard to keep our communities safe. I want to say thank you to my husband and my boys for all of their support during this time. I also want to thank my phenomenal staff who have been outstanding servants for our community. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported me during this time.”

Graves said in a statement, “Congratulations and blessings to my opponent. And thank you to all my supporters.”

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