ST. PAULS — Lance Herndon, the county commissioner for District 8, got a free pass during the May primary but could face competition from a write-in candidate in the November General Election.
Carlton Ray Barber, of St. Pauls, has filed paperwork with the county Board of Elections to enter the race to unseat Herndon, who has served as a commissioner since 2008. According to Dinah Locklear, who works with the Board of Elections, Barber must present the board a petition with 100 signatures of people who are registered voters in District 8 in order to get his name on the ballot.
Herndon is a Democrat; according to Locklear, Barber, should his name appear on the ballot, would not be affiliated with a party.
According to a statement announcing his candidacy, Barber has been involved in numerous community activities, including a litter sweep and the N.C. Folk Arts Festival held annually in St. Pauls. Barber says he has a long music career, working as a gospel singer and songwriter and more recently as a rapper, talent promoter and graphic designer.
“I’m tired of seeing our county’s money wasted and misused,” Barber, a lifelong resident of St. Pauls, said in a statement. “We need people in office that will be better stewards of our county’s funds … . I want to make common-sense choices about how the funds are spent.
“Our county didn’t need a DSS building made out of expensive fiber glass,” Barber said. “Instead we could have cut the cost and built a homeless shelter. Maybe, if we had enough money left, we could hire more sheriff’s deputies so that the communities in which we stay could be safe.”
Barber believes Robeson County needs to be more clean.
“We say our county is clean and green. but I don’t feel like it is. Some places are clean, but other communities are run down,” he said.
Herndon’s grandfather, Luther “Bill” Herndon, was a longtime county commissioner before his death in 2007. Lance Herndon won election to the board during the May 2008 primary.