GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Voters across eastern North Carolina headed out to the polls Tuesday for municipal elections and 9 is On Your Side with everything you need to know.CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST ELECTION RETURNS
This was the last year voters didn’t need an ID to vote. All you needed was your name and address.
In Pitt County, Allen Thomas was re-elected as the mayor of the county’s biggest city, Greenville. More details here. Over in Ayden, Steve Tripp won the race for mayor as did Gloristine Brown in Bethel, Ginger Little in Falkland, Robert (Bobby) Evans in Farmville (more details), Shirley A. Mitchell in Fountain, and David C. Boyd, Jr. in the Village of Simpson.
There were 10 municipality elections across Pitt County. There are about 77,000 registered voters in the county; 5% already voted in one-stop early voting.
Most ballots were short, with Greenville having the most contests, at 4. About 70% of Greenville residents also threw their support behind a more than $15 million bond referendum, which includes improvements to roads, sidewalks, greenways, and the 10th Street Connector.
While two incumbents maintained their positions on the city council, two incumbents lost their seats on the board. In District 3, McLean Godley, who is only 23-years-old, won over incumbent Marion Blackburn, 53% to 47%. District 5 is an upset with P.J. Connelly winning over incumbent Rick Croskery, 53% to 47%. More details here.
Winterville had an interesting race for voters who had to consider Michelle Joyner after police arrested her last week in connection with identity theft. She’s one of 8 hopefuls who wanted to be the top three choices for voters, but she only received 150 votes. So, the winners are Tony Moore, Ron Cooper, and Veronica Roberson.
In Beaufort County, Belhaven mayor Adam O’Neal held onto his seat against challenger Ricky Radcliffe. More details here. Meanwhile, Washington mayor Mac Hodges led the way over his challenger Ronald Lundy.
Over in Onslow County, North Topsail Beach is going to be dealing with flooding damage and keeping homes from being lost into the ocean for some time in the future. And some people kept that in mind when they headed to the polls. In the mayoral race, incumbent Daniel Tuman only got 41% of the votes, Donald Martin had 8%, and your new mayor is Fred Burns with 51% of the votes. More details here.
In Swansboro, voters had to pick three out of 8 people for the Board of Commissioners race. It turned out to be a rather close race. Voters headed out to cast their ballots at Swansboro’s only precinct. Voters also had to decide if they wanted to keep a council-manager form as the town government. The change would have moved to a mayor-council form, but it looks like voters decided to keep things the same.
In Lenoir County, the City of Kinston has a lot to look forward to and overcome. Police are handling a string of crimes and shootings. And the city is trying to grow downtown and hope to secure a baseball team again. There was also a controversial vote to allow family members of city council members to work for the city. More Details here.
In Craven County, Havelock Commissioners remain in their current seats with Pet Van Vliet gaining 27% of votes, Danny Walsh 23%, and Karen Lewis 17%.
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, just under 11,000 Pitt County voters had cast their ballots. That’s only about 13% of the county’s voters.
Pitt County Board of Elections Director Dave Davis says we see lower turn-out when there’s no presidential race, but municipality elections are still important.
“When you stop somewhere to eat or you’re just talking with your friends, you’re going to more than likely end up talking about what’s going on in your town or your city. So by putting in that person that you believe in, that you support, you could change how you feel about your town or city,” explained Dave Davis, Pitt County Board of Elections Director said.
Voters that WNCT 9 On Your Side’s Jessica Jewell spoke with say, even though this isn’t a presidential election, people still needed to come out and vote.
“Government is important at every level, starting at our local level,” said William Griffin Garner, Greenville resident. “So we’re voting for our city council, we’re voting for our mayor, so that we can have the proper direction locally and at the state level.”