First Posted: 1/15/2009
LUMBERTON - A flurry of candidates - 17 in all - made it to the Board of Elections office Friday before the noon filing deadline.
They include challengers to incumbent mayors in Maxton, McDonald, Red Springs, Rowland and St. Pauls.
No one filed for the two open seats on the Lumber Bridge town board or for the mayor's post in Orrum. Election officials are expected to make a decision next week on whether to extend the filing period for those seats.
Those filing Friday were mayoral candidates Lillie McKoy and her challenger Gladys Dean in Maxton; James Taylor in McDonald; Frances Patterson in Red Springs; Doris “Betty” Hunt in Rowland; and Walter Dewitt Rountree in St. Pauls.
Those filing for town council seats included Chris Howard in Lumberton Precinct 6 and Laura B. Sampson in Lumberton Precinct 7; Orrum incumbents Bonita Britt, Arthur Britt and Wilton Caulder; Jeffery Holtom in Parkton; Mitchell Lowry in Pembroke; Edward Chub Henderson and Eva Patterson-Heath in Red Springs; Allen Jean Love in Rowland; and Gwendolin “Ghee” Johnson in St. Pauls.
Taylor, Rountree, Bonita Britt and Arthur Britt, Caulder, Lowry and Love did not provide biographical information to The Robesonian.
Howard is seeking the Precinct 6 seat held by Councilman Robert Jones.
Howard said he would work to lower user fees and limit construction on unneeded capital projects. He said he would try to develop jobs and improve parks and recreational activities in Precinct 6.
“I feel that many concerns have not been addressed in the previous 16 years,” he said. “One of many such items is the city's inability to stabilize and largely increase the General Fund balance, which puts additional burden on all taxpayers.”
Howard, who has served as campaign manager for several winning campaigns, is a member of First Baptist Church. He is a graduate of Shaw University.
Sampson represents District 3 on the Lumbee Tribal Council. She has lived in West Lumberton all here life.
“I have always had the desire to serve the people in my community,” Sampson said. “… I will work hard to make sure residents of West Lumberton have a strong voice. There are a lot of good people who live in this community and I will fight passionately against crime and drugs to help restore a sense of pride on our behalf.”
She and her husband Kenneth have two children. She attends Hyde Park Baptist Church.
McKoy said she is running for a third term in Maxton is to help resident realize their potential and worth.
“It is important to have each citizen feel a part of his or her community,” she said. “My goal is to help each individual reaffirm their commitment to equality, freedom for all people, regardless of race, religion, sexual preference or gender.”
A former town commissioner for six years, she also served as past chairman of the Robeson County Enterprise Community Development Board and past president of the Robeson County Municipal Association. She also is member of the Robeson County Black Caucus, Maxton Women Support Group and Maxton Lions Club.
She has real estate license from Richmond Community College.
McKoy attends St. George United Methodist Church. She is married to Lee Vester McKoy Jr. They have five children.
Commissioner Dean also filed for the mayor's post. She is midway through her second term on the town board.
“Since I have returned to Maxton, people have continually asked that I run for mayor and I promised them that I would one day, and I always keep my promises,” Dean said. “I believe that I can continue to make significant contributions to improve the quality of life in Maxton. I enjoy public service and want to remain true to my campaign slogan - people before politics.”
Dean is a retired university professor and health care administrator.
Frances Patterson hopes to unseat incumbent Mayor George Paris.
“I've always live in the town of Red Springs and I'm just about growth and change,” said Patterson, who teaches fifth grade at Red Springs Middle School.
She graduated from Red Springs High School and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She is a member of Jones Chapel Baptist Church in Red Springs.
She has one child.
Her sister, Eva Patterson-Heath, would like to join her on the board as a town commissioner.
“I want to enhance the quality of life in Red Springs,” she said.
Patterson-Heath teaches at Red Springs High School, where she coaches girls basketball, having amassed more than 500 wins.
She is a graduate of Red Springs High School and N.C. A&T. She has a master's from UNCP.
She serves on Community in Schools board of directors and attends Jones chapel Baptist church, where she teaches Sunday school. She and her husband Tim have four children.
Edward Henderson also has filed for seat on the town board.
“There were people interested in me running and I would like to see Red Spring be the best it can be,” he said.
The 51-year-old Red Springs native is a manager at Southeastern Regional Medical Center.
Holtom, 42, grew up in Duplin County and has lived in Parkton for three years. He is an account representative for Cumulus Broadcasting in Fayetteville.
Holtom said he is running out of frustration.
“We need new council people and some new ideas …,” Holtom said. “ There is a pretty good group of us in town who are tired of the old regime who won't change anything and who won't listen to us at the meetings. So we said fine, we will run against them.”
This is Holtom's first bid for elected office.
He and his wife Michelle attend Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville.
Doris Hunt will challenge incumbent Mayor Harris McCall.
Hunt had filed earlier this week as a candidate for town council but said she decided to run for mayor instead.
“I believe in the town of Rowland, and that the town reflects the beauty and talents of its many citizens,” she said. “I will do my very best to ensure that Rowland continues to flourish as a town, that senior citizens are not forgotten, and that our youths are given every opportunity to excel.”
Hunt, a native of Dillon, S.C., has lived in Rowland for 32 years.
She is a bookkeeper with the Robeson County public schools. She is a member of the Ashpole Center United Methodist Church. She and her husband Paul have five children.
Johnson says she hopes to work on number of issue if elected to a term on the board.
“I would like to see the St. Pauls community increase programs to serve our youth, to build economic development and make our communities safer,” she said.
Johnson works as a LINKS coordinator with the county Department of Social Services.
She is chairman of the St. Pauls Planning and Zoning Board and entertainment chairman of the NC Folk Arts Festival Board. She is member of Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church.
She and her husband Harold have two children.