Write-in campaign heavy in Askewville

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 10, 2005

WINDSOR – The political landscape in the tiny Bertie County town of Askewville is about to change.

Based on the unofficial totals from Tuesday’s municipal election, Askewville will see two new members on its Board of Commissioners.

Meanwhile, incumbent Mayor Meredith White will return to another term in office by virtue of receiving 36 of the 64 votes cast.

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But the big story in Askewville was a write-in campaign. Seventeen different people (in a town that lists 156 eligible voters) had their names written on the ballots.

Leading that effort was political newcomer Rodney Thomas who earned a seat on the Board with 42 votes. Incumbent Commissioner Mary Lou Jernigan was reelected with 35 votes while challenger Gloria Bryant captured the third and final seat with 23 votes.

Gloria Bryant, the daughter of the late Elbert Ray Bryant, a longtime member of the Board, just barely edged-out Kay Brantley who was named on 22 write-in ballots. If so desired, Brantley can call for a recount. By law, she has until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16 to make that request to the Bertie County Board of Elections.

Others receiving write-in votes for Commissioner included Monroe Mizelle (14) and Roy Johnson (11). Seven others were credited with splitting the remaining 41 write-in votes.

There were also 11 write-in votes for Mayor, split between seven individuals.

Incumbent Askewville Commissioner Robert “Bobby” Harmon, who was filling the unexpired term of Elbert Ray Bryant, filed for reelection, but withdrew his name from consideration two weeks ago.

Askewville experienced a 41 percent turnout of its eligible voters, the highest in Bertie County.

The Bertie Board of Elections will complete its mandated canvass of all polling machines and paper ballots by Tuesday of next week at which time the results will be declared official.