Sampson County voters likely returned Albert Kirby to his Dist. 5 commissioner’s seat, gave the nod to Clark Wooten as the candidate who will face Democratic challenger Brent Baggett for the Dist. 1 seat and moved Freddie Butler into a faceoff for Sampson County sheriff with incumbent Jimmy Thornton.
And an alcohol referendum that was heavily opposed by many across the county failed by a relatively large margin, 63 percent against.
Unofficial returns from the Sampson County Board of Elections show that Kirby narrowly defeated challenger Eugene Pearsall 623 votes to 352, but a reported ballot issue at the Southwest Clinton may delay a final call on that race.
Early reports are that Southwest Clinton provided the incorrect ballots to voters, minus the commissioners race. A total of 220 votes come from that precinct for the Dist. 5 seat. More information about that incident will be forthcoming in later reports.
The lone candidate in the Dist. 3 race, Sue Lee, who ran unopposed on the primary ballot, will likely take a seat on the board, barring a write-in campaign.
In a battle til the end, Wooten overtook Danny Jackson, the other newcomer in the Dist. 1 race, defeating him by the slimmest of margins, winning with 51 percent of the vote.
And Butler, the newcomer in the Democratic primary against David Kidd, got a victory as well, taking down the candidate who won the primary four years ago, with 52.7% of the vote.
Although district-wide election results weren’t in and the race for the Dist. 7 congressional seat couldn’t be called, in Sampson County, David Rouzer handily defeated challengers Woody White and Chris Andrade. Democrat Walter A. Martin Jr. of Johnston defeated Jonathan Barfield Jr. of New Hanover, with just over 54 percent of the vote.
In uncontested school board races, incumbent city members Georgina Zeng, Carol Worley and Randy Barefoot re-claimed their seats. In Sampson County, board members, Mary Brown, G.H. Wilson, Dewain Sinclair and Tefair Simpson were returned to the board.
See interviews with primary winners and more detailed election analysis in Thursday’s Sampson Independent.