LUMBERTON — Incumbent Severeo Kerns lost his District 3 seat on the Board of Education for the Public Schools of Robeson County to newcomer Peggy Wilkins Chavis on Tuesday, and the only other contested incumbent, Brenda S. Fairley-Ferebee, easily won re-election in District 2.
Kerns, who had served on the Board of Education for 12 years, including one year as chairman and three years spent as vice chairman, lost with 582 votes, 33.33 percent, in the three-person race. Chavis garnered 806 votes, 46.16 percent, and Brenda L. Locklear, with 320 votes, received the remaining 20.05 percent.
Kerns could not be reached, but indicated in an email to The Robesonian that he might release a statement. It had not arrived before deadline.
“Mr. Severeo congratulated me when he ran into me this afternoon,” Chavis said. “He called me over and shook my hand … I am so happy. I have taught schools for 38 years, I am just so happy because I am in a position to help our children. So much has been given to me for 38 years and and now I have a chance to give back.”
Fairley-Ferebee won with 1,507 votes, or 62.56 percent, to Effie McEachin’s 886 votes, 36.78 percent. There were 16 write-in votes.
Fairley-Ferebee, who had served on the board for 17 years, could not be reached for comment.
McEachin plans another bid in 2018.
“I feel very good about the way I ran the campaign,” McEachin said. “I met with plenty of people. I think there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the present person, but money was in this race to be perfectly honest. There was a lot of money in the race, but I feel real good about it. I am not disappointed, because I know in any race there is going to be a winner and loser.”
Mike Smith, the District 6 representative, Dwayne Smith in District 8, were unopposed. The primary serves as the General Election for the Board of Education because the office is non-partisan.
All results are unofficial until canvassing on Tuesday. Provisional ballots still have to be counted.