Newton Grove welcomes new face; status quo in Salemburg

By: By Chase Jordan - and Kristy D. Carter

A new face sits will be welcomed to the Newton Grove town board following local elections Tuesday night, while the small western town of Salemburg secured the spots of three incumbents.

In Newton Grove, incumbents Teresa Wilson and Gary Mac Herring retained their spots, while newcomer William “Chris” Raynor captured the third seat, left open after Commissioner Steve Jackson did not file to seek another term.

Wilson led the way with 61 votes. She recently presented a $79,000 playground project at Weeks Park, which was approved by her colleagues on the board.

“I’m really excited about doing it for another four years,” she said. “We just got our park approved for new playground equipment and we’re going to be really excited to see that installed and to see bigger and better things for our children because they’re the future of our town.”

She also congratulated Herring and Raynor, who will serve on the board with her soon.

Herring followed Wilson with 57 votes. Like Wilson, he’s also looking forward with Raynor, who received 51 votes. The playground at Weeks Park is one of several upgrades he would like to see throughout town. Another goal is to improve aging infrastructure such as the sewer plant.

“We’ve got some projects in place to improve and repair that,” Herring said about the project.

The longtime town leader added that he would like to find ways to improve the town and the community through organizations such as CING (Citizens Improving Newton Grove). One of the upcoming projects is an initiative to honor men and women serving in the military.

“We’re excited to see what they have for the circle,” Herring said about the town’s popular and busy roundabout.

Salemburg elections

Salemburg incumbents Richard “Dickie” Walters, Arnold Page and Tommy Jackson were all reelected to serve another term on the town board.

Jackson was appointed to the board in 2015 to fill the unexpired term of Joe Warren, who was elected as the town’s new mayor. During the 2015 election, Jackson narrowly missed being elected to serve on the board as a commissioner, therefore was appointed by Warren as his first official point of business.

Tuesday night, Jackson secured 32.2 percent of the votes, as well as a permanent position on the board for the next four years. Walters, who was first elected in 2013, received 26.3 percent of the votes Tuesday night, securing his second term.

“I am deeply moved by the expression of confidence from the residents of Salemburg,” Walters said about being reelected to serve the town of Salemburg. “I thank them from the bottom of my heart. I promise to continue to work hard to make the town better, while keeping the best interest of our citizens in mind.”

Walters, who says he loves the small town atmosphere, likes serving the residents of Salemburg and calling the town home.

“Seeing these qualities in a small town makes me want to be a part of it,” he added. “I feel the best way I could contribute to the town is by serving.”

While serving as a commissioner, Walters said he has been a part of the process to upgrade the town’s water system, and is looking forward to being able to extend the town’s lines to serve areas just outside of town that don’t have county or town water.

Current commissioner Page is now serving his fourth term on the board, having been elected in 2005. He secured 24.4 percent of the votes in the 2017 election.

Other challengers were Donald Comer and Johnnie Parker, who received 11.2 and 5.9 percent of the votes, respectively.

By Chase Jordan

and Kristy D. Carter

Reach Kristy D. Carter and Chase Jordan at 910-592-8137. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.

Reach Kristy D. Carter and Chase Jordan at 910-592-8137. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.