Voters Decide Dozens of Local Races, Approve Raleigh Road Bonds
Posted May 5, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — Linda Coleman edged by Linda Johnson in the Democratic primary for the District 1 seat on the Wake County Board of Commissioners, 52-to-48 percent. Coleman will face Republican incumbent Les Merritt.
In District 2, Fuquay-Varina town commissioner Gene Truelove defeated Phil Matthews, 57-to-43 percent. Truelove faces Democratic incumbent Micheal Weeks in the November election.
In the 3rd District, Republican incumbent Leo Tew has been ousted by attorney Jan Pueschel. Pueschel received 53 percent of the votes cast.
The field of candidates for Durham County sheriff has been whittled to the current sheriff and a former sheriff.
Incumbent Worth Hill is seeking a second term. He defeated Tony Butler for the Democratic nomination.
On the Republican side, former Sheriff Al Hight defeated 911 dispatcher Ricky Hart.
In the Durham school board races Tuesday, where members are elected outright, Regina George-Bowden has defeated Don Williams for the District 2 seat, 75-to-25 percent.
In District 3, incumbent Gail Heath has won a second term, easily defeating deputy housing director Frank Meachem.
In District 4, incumbent Arnold Spell turned back the challenge of longtime bus driver Robert Parker.
Cumberland County Sheriff Moose Butler learned whom he will face in November's election. Former Deputy Sheriff Denny Davis beat former state senate candidate Jeff Murray, 64-to-36 percent.
Chatham County Sheriff Donald Whitt easily defeated his three challengers, all former or current lawmen. Whitt will take on Republican Andy Wilkie in November.
In Hoke County, incumbent Sheriff Wayne Byrd has been upset by James Davis, 56-to-44 percent. Observers attribute the loss to the unsolved kidnapping, murder and rape of a young Hoke County girl.
One political action group that has been extremely vocal before this election is Farmers for Fairness. The coalition of large pork producers ran ads blasting candidates such as Cindy Watson, a state representative from Duplin County who supports tougher hog regulations.
Although the board of elections ordered the group to take its ads off the air until it had registered as a PAC, those that had already run apparently may have had some impact at the polls. Incumbent Watson lost to Johnnie Manning, who had the backing of hog producers.
Richard Morgan held on to his seat, despite efforts by the hog lobby to oust him. He held off challenger Art Blue.
Raleigh voters said "yes" to $50 million worth of road projects. Voters overwhelmingly said the city should sell bonds to borrow money for road improvements. The money will go to nine road widenings and extensions and 20 storm drain projects.