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Martin County voters re-elect incumbents


By Thadd White
Enterprise & Weekly Herald

Saturday, November 12, 2016

America voted for change. Martin County did not.

All three incumbent Martin County Commissioners were re-elected according to unofficial returns Tuesday night.

Democrats Tommy Bowen and Dempsey Bond Jr. won re-election along with unaffiliated candidate Elmo "Butch" Lilley. Democrat Moses Matthews, currently a member of the Martin County Board of Education, finished fourth.

Bowen was the highest vote-getter in his re-election bid, receiving 5,587 votes. Lilley was next with 4,688 and then Bond with 4,557. Matthews received 4,057 votes.

All three candidates for the Martin County Board of Education were also re-elected. None had opposition.

In District 3, Kenneth Harrell received 1,349 votes. There were 19 write-ins. In District 5, newcomer Renee Purvis was elected with 1,000 votes. There were 74 write-in votes. In District 7, Van Heath was re-elected with 1,268 votes. There were 89 write-ins.

Soil & Water District Supervisor Richard "Ricky" Cannon received 9,139 votes. There were 127 write-ins.

Martin County helped Donald Trump win the state of North Carolina, as the Republican candidate edged Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the county. Trump had 5,874 votes to Clinton's 5,815. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 164 votes.

The county's voters also supported Richard Burr (R) in his re-election bid to the U.S. Senate. Burr received 5,805 votes compared to Deborah Ross' (D) 5,646 and 313 for Sean Haugh (L).

U.S. Congressman G.K. Butterfield easily won re-election. He also carried Martin County with 6,356 votes. H. Powell Dew (R) received 4,980 and J.J. Summerall (L) had 209.

Martin County also helped re-elected State Senator Erica Smith-Ingram to represent North Carolina's third district. Smith-Ingram received 7,611 votes in an unopposed race.

Democrat Shelley Willingham earned a second term in the N.C. House representing District 23. He earned 7,972 votes in an unopposed re-election bid.