Campbell seeks re-election as District 2 commissioner

By: Staff report
Berlester Campbell
Brenda Fairley-Ferebee

LUMBERTON — Berlester Campbell filed Monday for re-election to the Robeson County Board of Commissioners, setting up a familiar rematch for residents of District 2.

Also on Monday, two people filed for the District 2 seat on the Public Schools of Robeson County Board of Education.

A resident of Fairmont, Campbell, a Democrat, is a veteran with three years of service in the U.S. Army. He has 14 years of experience as a county commissioner, but not consecutive. After serving previously and then losing re-election, he won the seat back in 2014.

Campbell is affiliated with Antioch Baptist Church in Proctorville.

“You are one of 2,718 voters that cast your vote in the 2014 election,” Campbell said in a written statement. “Your vote is very important for our district and county. Therefore, I encourage you to vote for me and allow us to continue to work together to bring about the needed changes for Robeson, especially in District 2. I believe you will agree with me that change is evident.”

Hubert Sealey is the only other candidate to file for the District 2 seat, having also filed as a Democrat. Campbell defeated Sealey in a run-off election in 2014, ending a three-term run for Sealey that began when he defeated Campbell in 2002.

No Republicans have filed for the District 2 seat.

On Monday, Brenda Fairley-Ferebee, who has represented District 2 on the school board since 1996, and Melissa Ocean, a challenger, filed for that seat.

Fairley-Ferebee, a widow, is the mother of five children, and has nine grandchildren attending Robeson County’s public schools.

”I am an ordained Apostle to the Nations, accepted to the United Nations Chaplaincy-Fort Lauderdale, Florida, an advocate of education for students, staff and parents,” she said. “I serve many civic groups, with all being attached to Education. … I am a 22-year veteran on the school board and due to the request of so many students, staff and parents to continue to represent them at a very crucial time for the board, after much fasting and prayer, … I did file for re-election.

Ocean, a 38-year-old Rowland resident, filed for the school board’s District 2 seat.

Ocean has worked for BB&T for about 10 years, currently as a client care research agent. She attends The Greater Highway Church of Christ Inc., where she served as an outreach liaison in the Youth Department.

“I have a personal interest in our school system and want to ensure our PSRC teachers and staff are equipped with the resources needed to educate our children,” Ocean said. “My goals include raising awareness about the need for equity in education to increase student achievement. Simultaneously, I want to create a culture of collective, effective and responsible decision-making based on sound education policy, fiscal responsibility and the belief that all students should have access to a quality education.”

Ocean was very prominent in public meetings that led up to the inclusion of Southside-Ashpole Elementary School in the Innovative School District, serving on a panel that interviewed entities that were vying to manage the school. She said she will have a child attending Southside-Ashpole in the coming school year, and other children attending other schools.

“I will represent District 2 to the best of my ability and ensure that others in my community have a voice when educational and administrative decisions are made that affect our children,” she said.

The filing period for the May 8 primary, which began on Feb. 12, ends on Wednesday at noon. The General Election is scheduled for Nov. 6.

Berlester Campbell Campbell

Brenda Fairley-Ferebee Fairley-Ferebee

Staff report