First Posted: 1/15/2009
LUMBERTON -- Sheriff Glenn Maynor was re-elected to his third term Tuesday, beating his closest challenger by more than 8,000 votes, according to unofficial returns.
Maynor, who garnered 60.6 percent of the vote in a four-man race, won 38 of 40 precincts and tied in another, with the results still not in for Fairmont No. 2.
The incumbent sheriff unofficially received 11,880 votes, while challenger Hubert Covington came in second with 3,866 votes. Challenger Mark Locklear received 2,285 votes and Emmett Brown finished with 1,167 votes.
“The strength of our vote shows that voters believe we are doing something right,” Maynor said. “It is a clear mandate to continue the job we're doing.”
Maynor, who is Indian, not only outpaced his opponents in predominately American Indian precincts, such as North and South Pembroke, but also was the top voter-getter in precincts that are heavily black and white.
There were only three precincts -- Britts, St. Pauls No. 1 and St. Pauls No. 2 -- where Maynor failed to lead by a large margin. Covington led in St. Pauls No. 2 with 215 votes to Maynor's 200 votes. In Britts, Covington got 202 votes, with Maynor trailing closely with 191.
Maynor and Covington tied in St. Pauls No. 1, each getting 85 votes.
“I ran well with voters of all races,” Maynor said. “This campaign was a continuation of what we tried to do in 1998. Our message then and now was that we would do the best job we could and serve everyone with honesty and integrity.”
Maynor, 56, says he has no plans to retire in 2006. He urged supporters to save campaign signs and posters for the next election. He is entering his ninth year as sheriff. He was first elected in a close vote in 1994 and was re-elected overwhelmingly in 1998.
“I plan to continue to run and serve as long as I can and as long as the voters will have me,” he said.
As Maynor spoke, supporters interrupted him to shake his hand or kiss his cheek. More than 400 people attended a victory celebration for Maynor at the Southeastern Regional Agriculture Center and Farmer's Market Tuesday night.
“I think he has done a great job as sheriff,” said 83-year-old James W. Thomas. “If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Most voters felt like that.”
Covington said this morning that he was not quite ready to concede the election to Maynor. He said he planned to go to the elections office today to see the returns for himself. He said several precincts were still out when he went to bed at 2 a.m.
“We didn't know anything last night,” Covington said. “I don't want to make a statement until I go down there and see it for myself.”
Covington said that, if he does come in second, he has not decided whether to campaign for sheriff again.
“The only thing I'm really thinking about right now is getting my normal life back and spending time with my family,” he said.
Covington was critical of how the election was run.
“Election officials have made a fiasco of this thing,” Covington said. “There are a lot of people angry over this election, including the candidates.”
Locklear went to the elections office Tuesday to watch returns. But with less than half the returns in after midnight, he said it was too early to talk about the election results. He could not be reached this morning.
While at the election office Tuesday night, Locklear did say the primary had “been a nightmare” for voters and candidates.
“The process has been very, very frustrating,” Locklear said. “First, the election date had been pushed back, then there was no possibility of a runoff. Now I'm getting calls that people are being turned away at the polls and told they can't vote … that the tabulators are inoperable. Disappointing doesn't even begin to describe my frustration.”
Brown could not be reached.