- Tuesday, 15 May 2018
- Written by CHARLES BOSWORTH
Primary night in Cumberland County was a short election night. The unofficial vote count was in before 10 p.m. With 77 of 77 precincts reporting, under 11 percent of registered voters cast a vote May 8. In Cumberland County there are 212,458 registered voters out of a total population of 332,546. Only 23,135 people made it a priority to have a say in who will run in the midterm elections Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Midterm elections are the elections held near the midpoint of the president’s four-year term. Every two years, voters elect Congress members, the 435 members of the House of Representatives. Across the country, votes will also be cast for 35 Senate seats and 39 governorships, but North Carolina is not affected. Senators get elected to six-year staggered terms. Governors get elected to four-year terms.
Cumberland County is partitioned into two congressional districts, Districts 8 and 9, of North Carolina’s 13 districts. District 8 includes all of Cabarrus, Montgomery, Moore, Hoke and Stanly counties, as well as portions of Rowan and Cumberland counties. District 9 consists of Union, Anson, Richmond, Scotland and Robeson counties. It also includes a southeast portion of Mecklenburg county, and most of Bladen and Cumberland counties. Where you live in Cumberland County will determine which congressman in the House of Representatives represents you. Generally speaking, District 8 is the northern part and District 9 takes a larger portion in the southern part of the County.
The District 8 Democratic primary winner is Frank Mcneill. Mcneill won with 15,965 (56.11percent) votes across the district. In Cumberland County, Mcneill carried the vote with 6,411 (52.86percent) votes cast here. His opponents were Scott Huffman and Marc Tiegel. Huffman tallied 6,545 (23 percent) votes district wide and county wide 2,175 (19.76 percent). Tiegel fared better than Huffman county wide with 2,420 (21.99 percent) and district wide finished below Mcneill and Huffman with 5,941 (20.88 percent) votes. Mcneill will challenge incumbent Rep. Richard Hudson, who ran unopposed in the primary.
District 9 will see new leadership. Incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger had two challengers, Rev. Mark Harris and Clarence Goins Jr. In Cumberland County, Pittenger brought in 44.19 percent over Harris’s 31.92 percent and Goins’ 23.89 percent. Pittenger won the county by 12.27 percent over Harris. But it was not enough for him to get reelected to the House. It was a tight race across the district. Harris won the seat with 17,224 (48.52 percent) of total votes cast. Pittenger won 16,411 (46.23 percent) votes, losing his seat by 813 votes, or 2.29 percent. Speaking on Harris’ win, Frank Raczof the Cumberland County Tea Party Group, which endorsed Harris, said, “It is refreshing to see Pastor Harris move the House of Representatives and the Republican Party to the right.”
Harris will run up against the winner of the Democrat primary, Dan McCready. McCready had an easy victory over his opponent Christian Cano. In Cumberland County, McCready secured 2,829 (76.46 percent) of the votes cast. Across the district, he won 37,824 (82.83 percent) of the total votes cast. Cano picked up 7,838 (17.17 percent) across the district and in the county 871 (24.54 percent) votes.
This November, the Democrats have a chance to pick up two seats in Cumberland County.
There were two North Carolina State Senate race primaries, both for the Democrat Party. Former Town Councilman Kirk deViere won just under 2/3 of the votes for North Carolina State Senate District 19. Primary voters cast 5,248 (62.62 percent) votes for deViere over Clarence Donaldson’s total of 3,132 (37.37 percent) votes. Winner deViere will challenge incumbent State Sen. Wesley Meredith, who did not have a challenger.
In the North Carolina State Senate District 21 primary, Naveed Aziz beat incumbent State Sen. Ben Clark by 275 votes. She collected 3,814 (51.87percent) votes over 3,539 (48.13 percent) votes for Clark. Republican newcomer Timothy Leever, who was uncontested, will challenge Aziz for the District 21 seat in November’s general election.
Democrats had a primary for North Carolina House of Representatives District 43. Incumbent Rep. Elmer Floyd remains the party choice. Floyd won his district overwhelmingly with 3,880 (79.18percent) votes. His challengers, Theresa Gale and Prince Christian, garnered 889 (18.14 percent) and 131 (2.67 percent) respectively. Republican John Czajkowski, who was unopposed, will challenge Floyd for the seat.
Voters made their choice firmly known in the North Carolina House of Representatives District 44 Republican primary. Voters chose former Republican Cumberland County Party Chair Linda Devore with 1,528 (67.02 percent) votes over challenger Patrick Petsche, who picked up 752 (32.98percent) of the votes. Devore said upon her victory, “I’m very happy with today’s primary. It’s a little disappointing to not have larger numbers of voters turn out who are interested. But those who are interested have been heard, and that’s great. I look forward to representing our party on the November ballot. I’m looking forward to the race. The campaign starts tomorrow.” Devore will challenge incumbent State Rep. Billy Richardson, who did not have any challengers.
In the Cumberland County Clerk of Superior Court race, incumbent Lisa Scales won her Democrat Party primary with a solid countywide victory. Scales pulled in 12,921 (82.78 percent) votes over Eschonda Hooper, who managed 2,687(17.22 percent) votes. Cindy Blackwell, who had no opponents for the Republican primary, will challenge Scales.
November’s Cumberland County Sheriff’s race looks to be a competitive one. The Democrat primary was decidedly won by incumbent Sheriff Ennis Wright, who secured his position with 13,003 (82.70 percent) votes. Opponents Jeff Marks pulled 1,890 (12.02 percent) votes, and Denny Davis gathered 831 (5.28 percent) votes. The Republican primary was also determined by a wide margin. Charlie Baxley locked in the Republican nomination with 3,669 (53.98 percent) votes. The other three candidates accumulated 46 percent collectively. Carlton Sallie garnered 1,164 (17.13 percent) votes, Victor Starling collected 1,020 (15.01 percent) votes, and LaRue Williams picked up 944 (13.89percent) votes.
The midterm General Election will be held Tuesday,Nov. 6. Campaign signs may be pulled up until around Labor Day when you will see them sprout again, but the campaigns are just starting.
- Tuesday, 15 May 2018
- Written by a STAFF REPORT
Forging the future of local human services agencies
Cumberland County Commissioners have set May 21 as the date they will decide on the future structure of the departments of social services and public health.
The board has been thinking about changing the way the agencies are governed. A revision in state law encourages counties to do that. According to Assistant County Manager Duane Holder, 33 of North Carolina’s 100 counties have made changes.
At present, Cumberland County’s social services and health departments are governed by individual boards appointed by commissioners. Changes in the law allow the county to consolidate the agencies. Or commissioners can take on governance of both departments themselves. Or they can leave things as they are.
“The health care environment is changing globally and could influence the way we go,” said Commissioner Marshall Faircloth.
Cumberland County has a poor health care reputation in national surveys, noted Commissioner Jimmy Keefe. “We cannot lock ourselves in a box,” he said. “We need an all-encompassing approach,” he added.
The Cape Fear River and clean water
Cape Fear River Assembly’s 45th annual educational conference is set for Wednesday, May 23, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The conference will be held at the UNCW Center for Marine Science in Wilmington.
This year’s theme, “Working Together to Protect the Cape Fear River,” is timely given the growing concerns about the risks of unregulated compounds such as GenX and others.
There will be speakers and panelists from various sectors, including government, business, academia and citizen groups. The panel of experts will discuss the effects of current and emerging unregulated contaminants.
Since 1973, the CFRA has uniquely represented and strived to maintain and improve the quality of life in the Cape Fear River Basin. Many groups and individuals, often with divergent view points, are brought together to find solutions to water quality and quantity problems impacting the entire river basin. The CRFA has been a voice for the Cape Fear River and encourages smart management of theriver, its tributaries and adjacent land. The entireCape Fear River basin is the largest and most developedregion of North Carolina.
Registration is $30 per person. Each registration includes a one-year individual membership in CFRA as well as lunch and refreshments. For more information and to register, go to: http://cfra-nc.org/annual-meeting/2018-2
Employment opportunities in downtown Fayetteville
A significant economic residual growing out of the baseball stadium project on Hay Street is the extent to which the general contractor is recruiting minority workers. Barton Malow Co. held a workforce development information session this month at the headquarters library. One objective is strengthening diversified workplace employment of minority and military veteran-owned businesses.
“Barton Malow is committed to investing in the community in which we build, so that the impact of our projects goes beyond the brick and mortar,” said senior project manager Roslyn Henderson.
Barton Malow construction crews are on the job to ensure successful completion of the $38 million minor league stadium by next spring’s opening day.
“We are committed to increasing the presence, skill level and inclusion of small local businesses in this project,” Henderson added. Consultants have connected with over 130 companies and helped to walk them through the pre-qualification process. Small contractors can do the work, but the paperwork often discourages them from applying. As construction continues, additional opportunities become available for businesses to get involved.
School bus strobes lights
Yellow and black school buses are some of the most noticeable vehicles on the road. Officials say that in certain conditions such as inclement weather and low light, added conspicuousness helps other motorists see the buses in time to avoid collisions.
The roof-mounted strobe lights are positioned on the longitudinal centerline of the roof, usually close to the rear. Their lenses are typically clear or white. Regulations on roof-mounted strobes vary by state. The Cumberland County School System is the fifth largest in North Carolina and has about 450 buses on the road every weekday during the traditional school year.
Toys R Us gets bonus life
Toys R Us announced March 15 that it will liquidate operations. There is no publicly confirmed date for when the store will close permanently.
According to a company press release, on April 11, Toys R Us announced it “received $80 million in incremental debtor-in-possession financing to augment liquidity as well as support the working capital needs of the company’s operations in Asia and Central Europe” in the form of a commitment from its Taj Noteholders.
Dave Brandon, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “This additional financing further positions our Asian and Central European operations for continued success. We appreciate the ongoing financial support and look forward to continued positive relationships with our vendors.”
In Canada, Toys R Us has been saved by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, a Toronto investment firm led by billionaire Prem Watsa. They were able to secure the 82-store Canadian operation for $237 million. Another billionaire and toy mogul, Isaac Larian, is seeking to buy the 735-store U.S. operation. His initial bid was declined, and his GoFundMe campaign to raise $1 billion was unsuccessful. But other media outlets report that Larian has said, “We have the financing we need. It’s now a matter of determining how much more we’re able to bid.”