Incumbents rule

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

The incumbents made a clean sweep in Tuesday’s elections, most more than doubling the votes of their closet contenders.

Voters, by an overwhelming margin, reelected City Councilman Curtis Milteer Sr. and School Board member Sharon Harris, both representing the Whaleyville district, and School Board member John Riddick of the Nansemond borough.

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Milteer, on the council for more than two decades, won 669 votes, more than twice the 276 received by fellow candidate Roger Leonard, owner of Cardinals Pilot Shop.

A third candidate, the Rev. Isaac Baker, a member of the Industrial Development Authority, received 104 votes.

Milteer, beginning his seventh term on council, admitted he had been a little worried by the competition.

&uot;I was concerned,&uot; he said. &uot;But a lot of people came to me and told me there was trickery in political game and that they weren’t going to fall for it. The game didn’t work.&uot;

Harris solidly defeated political newcomer Bessie Watson, 668-323. Watson, director of youth services for Isle of Wight County, came under fire over the weekend for misrepresenting her educational background on campaign literature and in community forums.

The closet race of the day was between Riddick and Thelma Hinton, a member of the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Hinton, with 253 votes, was just 60 shy of Riddick’s 313.

The three remaining races were uncontested.

Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett, representing the Nansemond district, was reelected with 526 votes.

Councilwoman Linda T. Johnson and School Board member James Perkinson, both representing the Sleepy Hole borough, received 242 and 228 votes respectively.