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Wooten elected sheriff; Overman, Lavin win commission seats

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Tommy Wooten (right), the Republican candidate for Pasquotank County sheriff, speaks with voters at the Providence voting site at Pasquotank County High School, Tuesday afternoon. Wooten was elected sheriff on Tuesday, according to unofficial returns.

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From staff reports

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Tommy Wooten made history on Tuesday, becoming the first Republican to be elected sheriff in Pasquotank County in more than a hundred years.

Pasquotank Republicans also made history on Tuesday, as GOP candidates Barry Overman and Sean Lavin won seats on the county Board of Commissioners, giving their party three seats on the seven-member board for the first time in modern memory. 

According to unofficial results, Wooten defeated Democrat Eddie Graham to win a four-year term as sheriff.

In the race for two at-large commissioner seats, incumbent Democrat Charles Jordan won election to the seat he was appointed to last year. However, Overman defeated Democratic incumbent Bill Sterritt for the other at-large seat. Lavin ousted Democratic incumbent Joe Winslow to win the commission board’s Northern Outside district seat.

In the election’s only other contested race, Sharon Warden was re-elected to her Outside City seat on the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Board of Education, and George Archuleta was elected to the other open seat.

In the sheriff’s race, Wooten collected 7,229 votes or 53.6 percent to Graham’s 6,254 votes or 46.4 percent. Wooten garnered more votes than Graham in early voting, 4,202 to 4,116. He also carried six of the county’s nine precincts, losing only in the North, South and West precincts.

In the at-large race for commissioner, Jordan collected 6,457 votes or 27.4 percent to lead a four-candidate field. Overman was second, garnering 6,344 votes or 26.9 percent. Sterritt finished third with 5,811 votes or 24.7 percent. Republican Josh Tunnell finished fourth, with 4,960 votes or 21 percent.

Jordan carried five precincts, while Overman carried four precincts.

In the race for Northern Outside commissioner, Lavin won 1,707 votes, or 51.2 percent, while Winslow got 1,621 votes, or 48.7 percent.

Also re-elected without opposition Tuesday was Pasquotank Board of Commissioners Chairman Cecil Perry, who represents the Southern Inside district.

In the school board election for two seats, Warden finished first, collecting 8,315 votes or 43.6 percent. Archuleta finished second, garnering 5,350 votes or 28 percent. Ron Payne finished in an extremely close third, collecting 5,329 votes or 27.9 percent. Warden carried all nine precincts.

Total turnout for Tuesday’s election in Pasquotank was 46.4 percent. 

For many voters at the polls on Tuesday, choosing their next sheriff was a top priority. At Pasquotank County High School, Providence voter Pam Ganster said she voted for Graham because a friend and city police officer recommended Graham to her.

Ganster also said the school board was important to her, and she voted for Warden and Archuleta. She said she hoped to see teachers treated better and more respected.

Another Providence voter, Derek Bazemore, voted for Graham for reasons similar to Ganster’s. He said police officers were neighbors of his, and recommended Graham.

Wooten won the support of Providence voters Sandi Beasley and Ana Bundy, who simply said they voted straight Republican.

One Providence voter asked to remain anonymous, but said the school board race was most important to her, noting she has kids in ECPPS. She said she supported Archuleta, commenting, “I’ve known him for a long time, and he has a good heart.”

Over at Evangelical Methodist Church, the polling place for Mt. Hermon, Barbara Bright also said she went for Wooten. She said he believes in the Republican agenda and she liked what she had read in The Daily Advance about him.

She also said she supported Payne for school board, citing his experience as a former principal of Northeastern High School.

A Republican-leaning Mt. Hermon voter, Jesse Walters, also said he voted for Wooten, citing his party and liking his positions. As to other races, he said the school board was important, but there was very little competition to choose from.

Mt. Hermon voter William Taylor opted for Graham, saying his friends had told him good things about Graham.

Taylor also said he was pleased to vote for Charles Jordan for at-large commissioner.

“He’s been a good guy since the day he was born,” Taylor said.

Over at the Kermit E. White Center, the polling place for the South precinct, Jayla Dunn said she voted for Graham, praising him as “confident” and “passionate” in his job.

South voter Chaz Miller also supported Graham, describing him as a nice, understanding person. He didn’t have strong views on county commissioner or school board, he added.

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