Woods up 10 vote, faces probable recount

Last updated: May 07. 2014 9:53AM - 4293 Views
By - bshiles@civitasmedia.com

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LUMBERTON — Robeson County Commissioner David Edge knows who will be challenging him in November for his board seat, but two other commissioners, Noah Woods and Hubert Sealey, will have to wait until the final votes are in from Tuesday’s Democratic primary to know if they will keep their seats on the board.

Woods, the chairman of the board, holds a 10-vote margin over challenger Faline Locklear Dial with provisional votes still to be counted, and Sealey is looking at the possibility of a runoff.

Lloyd “Mickey” Meekins Jr. won the Democratic primary on Tuesday in a three-way race for the District 6 seat. Meekins will try to unseat Edge, the only Republican on the eight-member board, in November.

“I want to thank all the voters and my supporters,” Meekins said this morning. “It was a long campaign, but a good one.”

Meekins said that when he takes on Edge in the fall, he will continue to campaign on the same issues that he did during the primary.

“My candidacy is based on the taxpayers and youth,” he said. “Everyone knows that I’m running to help the taxpayers and kids.”

Meekins received 1,195 votes, or 50.68 percent, of the 2,358 votes cast. The other candidates were Ray Cox, who received 917, or 38.89 percent, of the votes, and Brenda Bullard, who received 246, or 10.43 percent, of the votes cast.

In District 4, Woods, a commissioner since 1990, garnered 1,051, or 50.24 percent, of the total 2,092 votes cast. Dial, who is from Prospect and seeking her first elected public office, received 1,041, or 49.76 percent of the votes.

While finishing on top Tuesday, Woods still can’t declare a re-election victory. If the unofficial results of his contest with Dial stands after provisional votes are counted and the canvass performed on Tuesday, Dial will be within the 1 percent vote margin that would allow her to request a recount.

“I will ask for a recount if my vote total is within the 1 percent, Dial said.

During her campaign, Dial, a speech pathologist, said on numerous occasions that it is time for the county to have new leaders who can bring a fresh perspective and innovative ideas to the board.

“I am proud of the way this race was run,” she said. “It proves that Robeson County truly is ready for a change in leadership.”

Dial said said Tuesday that she feels the race between her and Woods was conducted in a cordial manner.

“I think this was a clean race,” she said. “I am very proud of the way both candidates handled it.”

Repeated attempts Tuesday to reach Woods for comment for this story were unsuccessful.

Sealey failed Tuesday in a six-candidate race to hold onto his District 2 seat. Sealey, with 656 votes, or 26.11 percent of votes cast, finished behind Berlester Campbell, a former commissioner. Campbell received 807 votes, or 32.13 percent of the votes cast.

If the unofficial results of the race hold, there is a potential runoff between Campbell and Sealey because no candidate received at least 40 percent of the votes. Votes don’t become official until after next Tuesday’s canvassing, which will be held at the Robeson County Board of Elections Office on North Walnut Street beginning at 11 a.m.

Other candidates in the District 2 race and their vote count were: Larry S. Graham, 481, or 19.15 percent, of the votes; Paul Hunt Jr., 425, or 16.92 percent of the votes; John Jackson, 97, or 3.86 percent of the votes; and Jason Carter, 46, or 1.83 percent of the votes.

Sealey has served on the Board of Commissioners since 2002. An outspoken critic of some ways the county government operates, he has at times angered his fellow commissioners.

Neither Campbell nor Sealey could be reached for comment.

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