By this evening, barring a runoff, there will be at least three new mayors in Sampson County and a number of town boards could see significant facelifts.
While early voting was sparse despite eight days set aside for people to cast ballots ahead of time — numbers were not immediately available but Elections officials estimated 35-40 total votes — officials were prepping Monday for what could be a decent turnout.
There are contested races in all but two municipalities, and mayoral posts are up for grabs in four of those five towns.
Seven mayoral seats and 19 other town board seats are set to expire in Sampson. The filing period for the election was held in July, during which 38 people filed for the available 26 positions. The eight-day early voting period ended on Saturday.
The 2015 Municipal Election will see contested races for four mayoral posts and a number of other town posts across the county, highlighted by a three-way race for Roseboro mayor, a former Newton Grove mayor’s attempt at a return to office and a six-way race to fill half as many seats on Salemburg’s board.
There will be at least three new mayors, as Bobby Strickland and David Alexander chose not to seek re-election in Salemburg and Roseboro, respectively, and Barbara Burch is not seeking another term in Newton Grove. Autryville, Roseboro and Turkey will join Newton Grove as having mayoral races on Nov. 3, while Salemburg seems poised to have current commissioner Joe Warren succeed longtime mayor Strickland.
The Clinton City Council and Harrells Board of Aldermen will stay intact, as all incumbents have filed for re-election and no challengers have come forward. That is where the status quo ends, as Sampson’s six other municipalities will have 32 people seeking to fill 20 available seats.
Polls will open at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7:30 p.m. at the Sampson County Board of Elections, now located at its previous location, Building F within the County Complex. There will also be convenient voting locations in each municipality.
Those locations are: Autryville Town Hall, 215 S. Gray St., Autryville; Clinton City Hall Auditorium, 221 Lisbon St., Clinton; Garland Town Hall, 190 S. Church Ave., Garland; Harrells Fire Department, 924 Ward Road, Harrells; Newton Grove Fire Station, 313 W. Weeksdale St., Newton Grove; Roseboro Municipal Building, at 101 W. Pleasant St., Roseboro; Salemburg Municipal Building, 100 Methodist Drive, Salemburg; and Turkey Town Hall, 51 Market St., Turkey.
For more information, call the Board of Elections at 910-592-5796.
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.