Elections 2012: No surprise in city elections; Crawford done after 28 years

Jan. 12, 2013 @ 09:10 PM

Henderson’s long-awaited city elections finally happened in the May primary for the 2012 General Election, a state representative of nearly three decades was ousted from Jones Street and voters across the state soundly rejected gay marriage.

Those events topped the election scene in Vance County during 2012, when President Barack Obama was re-elected and Gov. Bev Perdue decided not to run for re-election. Obama was roundly endorsed by Democratic-heavy Vance County.

Republican Pat McCrory, who lost to Perdue four years ago, took his oath of office this past weekend after a comfortable November win over former Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and Libertarian Barbara Howe of Oxford. Howe, who literally ran five kilometers in all 100 counties as part of her campaign, said in November she will not make a fourth try for the state’s highest elected office.

Crawford, a Democrat who had served various areas of the Tri-County region since the 1980s depending on how districts were drawn by Democrats, ended up matched with Roxboro’s Winkie Wilkins in District 2 after redistricting by Republicans. He formerly represented District 32, which was won in the fall by 31-year-old Nathan Baskerville.

Wilkins captured more than 55 percent of the vote against Crawford. In December, Crawford was named to help the McCrory transition team.

Statewide in May, the news out of the primary came from North Carolina voters endorsing a marriage between a man and a woman. The state became the last in the Southeast to approve a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

Pete O’Geary, age 78, earned another four years as Henderson’s mayor after winning 55 percent of the vote against Juanita Somerville in the spring. O’Geary, mayor since 2007, led a strong return to City Hall, with Garry Daeke, James C. Kearney, Sara Coffey, Michael Rainey, Michael Inscoe, Brenda Peace-Jenkins and George Daye all keeping their seats.

Vernon Davis won the seat of retiring councilman Lonnie Davis Jr. Only Daeke and Davis had challengers.

The city elections were postponed from the fall because of redistricting fallout. The city also set into motion a rotation of staggered terms. Voters this fall will choose representatives to four of the seats. In 2015, four council seats and the mayor’s chair will be on the ballot.

On Election Day in November, the district judge seat of Quon Bridges was won by challenger Amanda Stevenson. The race wasn’t decided until the final precinct reported and the State Board of Elections certified a requested recount.

Stevenson won by 296 votes out of more than 56,000 cast in four counties, easily the closest percentage win in the area in the spring or fall.

Contact the writer at awooten@hendersondispatch.com.