Perry, Sterritt eyeing re-election bids


By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Four seats on the Pasquotank County Board of Commissioners will be up for grabs this year, and at least two of the incumbents holding them are leaning toward seeking re-election.

Board Chairman Cecil Perry, an 81-year-old Democrat and retired school principal, said Wednesday he will “probably” run for office again.

Perry has held the board’s Southern Inside seat since 2003, when he was appointed to complete the unexpired term of W.C. Witherspoon, who had died. Perry is now serving his third full, four-year term after winning re-election in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

Board Vice Chairman Bill Sterritt confirmed Wednesday he is seeking re-election to his at-large seat on the commission. The 84-year-old Democrat and retired teacher and administrator at College of The Albemarle, said he hopes county residents will allow him to serve another four years.

However, that term, if he’s re-elected to the board, “probably will wind it up for me,” he said.

As commissioners, both Perry and Sterritt have been strong advocates for public school funding and promoting diversity, both on the board and the community as a whole.

Also up for re-election this year is Commissioner Joe Winslow, who represents the Northern Outside district and is completing his second term on the board. Winslow, 70, is an accountant first elected in 2010. Winslow could not be reached Wednesday or Thursday about his re-election plans.

The at-large seat formerly occupied by Bettie Parker, who became mayor of Elizabeth City last month, will also be on the ballot this year.

Charles Jordan, the former county commissioner, appointed to finish Parker’s unexpired term — he'll be sworn in next week — said Friday he’s not made a decision yet about whether he’ll run for a full term.

In 2010, Jordan lost his bid for an at-large seat to Gary White and Sterritt, who took the top votes in that year’s Democratic primary.

It's also unclear how much competition, whether from Democrats or Republicans, the commissioners will face. Though Sterritt and Jordan faced competition in their last elections, Perry has been re-elected without opposition since 2006 and Winslow was re-elected without opposition in 2014.

The filing period for partisan commissioner candidates will open Feb. 12 and continue through Feb. 28. To qualify for the ballot, unaffiliated candidates must collect and present signatures from at least 4 percent of the county's registered voters by May 8 to the Pasquotank Board of Elections.

Write-in candidates must collect at least 1 percent of the county's registered voters' signatures and present them to the county office by Aug. 8.