By Bob Shiles
November 6, 2013
LUMBERTON — There will be new members of the town boards in Maxton and St. Pauls following Tuesday’s municipal elections.
In Maxton, six candidates ran for the two seats, both four-year terms, currently held by James McDougald and Victor R. Womack Sr. Womack lost re-election to a second term, and McDougald didn’t seek re-election.
The winners were Margaret Wilkerson Gilchrist with 210 votes, and former Commissioner Emmett “Chip” Morton, who received 161 votes.
Victor R. Womack Sr received 128 votes, Harold Seate received 100 votes and Vincent John Hall received 12 votes.
Gilchrist, 69, said that she plans to use her voice on the commission for the “good of the citizens of Maxton.”
“My main thing is education and jobs,” she said. “I’d really like to see us partner with RCC to provide training for both our young people and adults so that they already have the job skills necessary when a business locates in the area.”
Morton, 56, served on the town board for 16 years before losing his seat in 2011. He said he ran again this year at the request of Maxton residents.
“I believe the voters of Maxton are not happy and saying they want a change,” he said Tuesday night. “I’m not going to jump right into things now that I’m back on the board … I’m going to feel out what is going on and see what can be done to get Maxton going forward again.”
Womack said he was surprised at the results.
“I’m a little shocked ” he said. “But it is what it is. Politics is something else.”
Womack said he plans to continue being involved in community affairs, and did not rule out another run for a seat on the commission.
In St. Pauls, District 1 incumbent Commissioner William David Ayers lost his re-election bid to challenger Elbert Gibson.
Gibson, who served on the town board as a commissioner from 1989 to 1996, got 71.4 percent of the vote, beating Ayers 65 to 25, according to unofficial returns.
“I’m grateful to the voters. I feel like I had a lot of community support to trying to make some changes,” Gibson said. “The next step is to be sworn in and get to work to see if I can help make a difference.”
The 64-year-old Gibson said he was running to improve the town’s economic fortunes and felt his background as a businessman would be helpful. Gibson owns several businesses, including a convenience store, laundry and a mini-storage facility.
Ayers was seeking his third term.
“I want to thank my supporters and say congratulations to Elbert Gibson,” Ayers said. “I wish him the best and think he will do a heck of a job.”
The District 1 race was the town’s only contested election on Tuesday. Running unopposed were three St. Pauls incumbents: Samuel McAllister in District 2; Jerry Weindel in District 3; and McClure “Buck” Terry in District 4.