Four file for school board, one for county commissioner as filing ends

By: Staff report
Carl Lovette
Carl “C.H.” Lovette

LUMBERTON — The last day of filing for the May 8 primary was a busy day at the Board of Elections, with four candidates filing for the Board of Education, and one person filing for the Board of Commissioners.

Severeo Kerns, of Lumberton, filed Wednesday as a candidate for the District 3 seat on the Public Schools of Robeson County Board of Education. Kerns served on the school board from 2002 to 2014 before losing a bid for a fourth term.

The District 3 seat is held by Peggy Wilkins Chavis, of Lumberton. Chavis, the current school board chairperson, has filed for re-election. Linda O. Emanuel, of Lumberton, also has filed as a candidate for the seat.

Kerns worked for Robeson Community College for 17 years, but is now retired. He and his wife, Connie, have two children, Johnathan and Constance, and seven grandchildren.

“After careful thought, I have decided to seek the District 3 school board seat,” Kerns wrote in his statement. “I had the pleasure of representing this district for three terms. During the last four years, I have observed things very closely, coming to the conclusion that I would be a more effective public servant this time. While on the board I obtained knowledge that I feel would be quite beneficial at the present time. Our school system needs new direction and that direction can only come with a change of leadership. Having retired, I now have much more time to give to the public good.”

Three more people entered the race for the District 2 school board seat on Wednesday.

Carl “C.H.” Lovette, LaKishia Spaulding Sweat and Chandra Short filed as candidates for the seat currently held by Brenda Fairley-Ferebee, who has represented District 2 on the school board since 1996. Fairley-Ferebee filed for re-election on Monday. Also running for the District 2 seat is Melissa Ocean, of Rowland.

Lovette, 61, is a resident of the Fairmont area. He served in law enforcement in Robeson County for 30 years. For several of those years he was a school resource officer at Fairmont, Fairgrove and Orrum middle schools. Since leaving law enforcement he has been a substitute teacher, volunteer firefighter with the Fairmont Rural Fire Department and a bus driver.

“My goal is to make life better for our children, and that’s why I am running for the Board of Education District 2,” Lovette wrote in his statement. “In today’s trying times I believe it is time we focus on our children, and improving their experience in the schoolhouse. I have seen and have firsthand experience in the needs of our students and teachers in Robeson County. I am here to make a change for the better.”

Sweat, 43, was born and raised in Rowland and has lived inside the town limits of Rowland for the past nine years. She has worked for Nissan of Lumberton for 11 years and serves as the dealership’s financial comptroller.

Sweat attends Hickory Hill Baptist Church and is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina Tribal Council.

Sweat is married to Prather Sweat, who has worked at Fairgrove Middle School for the past nine years.

“I see the need for uplifting in our schools, for our children, for our teachers for our administration,” Sweat wrote in her statement. “We need to pull together as a collective body and lift our county. Everyone sees our county as a low place, but those of us that live here, work here, raise our families here, know how special our county is. Now is a time for change.”

Sweat provided information but not a photo to The Robesonian.

Short, of Maxton, did not provide biographical information or a statement to The Robesonian.

Nick Evans, of Fairmont, filed Wednesday as a Democratic candidate for the Robeson County Board of Commissioners District 2 seat. Evans did not provide The Robesonian with a statement or biographical information.

The seat currently is held by Berlester Campbell, of Fairmont, who has 14 years of experience as a county commissioner. Hubert Sealey, of Fairmont, also has filed for the seat.

Campbell and Sealey also are Democrats.

Assistant District Attorney Allan Adams filed Monday as a Republican candidate for the office of Robeson County district attorney. Adams filed in Raleigh, and did not receive a letter The Robesonian provides candidates saying they must provide information immediately if it is to be included in election stories.

Adams, of Lumberton, joins Democrats Matt Scott, of Pembroke, and Joe Osman, of Lumberton, in a race for the office currently held by Johnson Britt, who is not seeking re-election. All three are assistant district attorneys now.

Adams grew up in Lumberton and went to school in Red Springs.

He has been active as a Teen Court judge and student advocate mentor in Robeson, Hoke and Columbus counties. He received the Stanley J. Carmichael Award for Robeson County Teen Court and Youth Services in 2015.

He also received the 2012 MADD Sandhills Chapter Appreciation Award.

Adams has been involved in the community through the Robeson County Committee of 100, Historic Robeson Association, Lions Club of Lumberton, Kiwanis Club of Lumberton, and Cape Fear Council of Boy Scouts of America. He is a Master Mason with St. Albans Lodge No. 114.

As a chief prosecutor assigned to arsons and fatalities, Adams works closely with volunteer fire departments and has worked with the Robeson County Firefighters Association. Maxton Queheel Fire and Rescue presented Adams with an Appreciation Award for his service before and after Hurricane Matthew.

Adams received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in December 2001. He received his law degree in May 2005 from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.

Adams was an assistant district attorney assigned to Hoke and Scotland counties from October 2007 through February 2010. From February 2010 to October 2016 he worked as an assistant district attorney in Robeson County.

Adams began prosecuting cases in Bladen, Brunswick and Columbus counties in October 2016. His jury trial experience includes prosecuting cases of first-degree murder, vehicular homicide, firearms violations, violent crimes, property crimes, arson, financial crimes, and other felonies. He also has handled cases in juvenile court.

“Each of the administrations I have worked for have had their own strengths. They have provided me with differing viewpoints on how to best address the issues that affect our county,” Adams wrote in his statement. “Working together we can make our communities safer and Robeson County the place I know it can be. If I am given the opportunity to be the next elected district attorney for Robeson County I will tirelessly work towards a more just, efficient and responsible administration of justice.”

John Campbell, a member of the Public Schools of Robeson County Board of Education, and Bobbi Jacobs- Ghaffar, both filed Wednesday as Democratic candidates for the District 13 seat of the North Carolina Senate.

The District 13 seat currently is occupied by Republican Danny Britt Jr.

“I received a good education from public schools and I want the same — early childhood pre-K3, strong public schools, affordable college and vocational education and good jobs — for everyone across North Carolina. Politicians today continue to under fund our schools and force our teachers to do more with far less,” Campbell said.

Campbell said he has been a consistent and outspoken advocate for the rights of women, minorities and the disadvantaged for his entire life.

”I have been recruited by Sen. Daniel T. Blue Jr. and the N.C. Senate Democratic Caucus to offer the citizens of District 13 another option,” Campbell wrote in his statement. “My candidacy is a call to resist the urge to roll over and go with the flow. We have to resist the want to normalize what has happened over the last several years and resist the tendency to take our eye off of the ball of the issues.”

Jacobs-Ghaffar did not provide The Robesonian any information.

In another state office race, Ken Goodman, the incumbent Democrat from Rockingham, has filed for re-election to the House District 66 seat. Goodman is seeking a fifth term representing the district that includes the northwest corner of Robeson County.

Clyde Cupples, of New London, has filed as a Republican candidate for the House District 66 seat.

Neither House candidate provided biographical information or a statement to The Robesonian.

Rep. Garland Pierce has filed for re-election to the N.C. House District 48 seat. Pierce, a Democrat from Wagram, is seeking his eighth term representing the district that includes parts of Hoke, Richmond, Robeson and Scotland counties.

Republicans John W. Imbaratto, of Laurinburg, and Russell Walker, of Aberdeen, also have filed for the District 48 seat, according to a state Board of Elections candidates list. They will meet in the May 8 primary.

The District 48 candidates did not provide information to The Robesonian.

Carl Lovette Lovette

Carl “C.H.” Lovette“C.H.”-Lovette_1-1.jpgCarl “C.H.” Lovette

Staff report