Tuesday is Election Day in Johnston County. Voters countywide will decide the fate of borrowing for Johnston’s public schools and community college. Town leaders, meanwhile, will elect their leaders.
School, college bonds
Johnston County’s public schools are seeking $57 million for new and expanded buildings. Johnston Community College is asking for $7 million for its building needs. Leaders say the borrowing would not lead to a tax increase.
The public schools would use the money to build two new campuses, convert a middle school to an elementary school and expand many of the county’s other schools. The money will help the school system handle the roughly 700 new students it expects next year, said Superintendent Ed Croom said.
JCC would use the money partly to pay for long-term planning for its building needs. Other dollars would pay to renovate and upgrade current facilities.
Johnston precincts without municipal elections will be open so that people can vote on the bond issues.
Voters in all Johnston towns will elect leaders. Here’s a look at their ballots.
Archer Lodge – Incumbent councilmen Carlton Vinson and Mark B. Wilson are unopposed in their bid for re-election.
Benson – Voters will elect three at-large commissioners. The candidates are incumbent Will T. Chandler, Jerry Medlin, incumbent Frederick D. Nelson Jr. and Terry Tucker. On Tuesday, voters may vote for just one candidate. Also in Benson, incumbent mayor William W. Massengill Jr. is unopposed in his bid for re-election.
Clayton – Voters will elect three councilmen. The candidates are Bobby Bunn, incumbent Michael Grannis, Eboni L. Harrell, incumbent Art Holder, John McFadden and incumbent Bob Satterfield.
Four Oaks – For two commissioner seats, voters will choose from among three candidates – Jason H. Grady and incumbents John G. Hatch and Walter R. Holt.
Kenly – For mayor, voters will choose between incumbent David L. Grady and challenger Larry T. Smith. For two council seats, James E. Little and incumbent Bonnie Hartley Williamson are unopposed in their bids for election. Also on Tuesday, Kenly voters will fill an unexpired term on the council. The candidates are Joe L. McDougald and Sherwood W. Mitchell.
Micro – For mayor, voters will choose between Gene Hinton and Jim Wiesner. For commissioner, Johnny J. Dixon, Timothy “Tim” Earp and Donald R. Holland are unopposed in their bids for elections.
Pine Level – Voters will choose four commissioners. The candidates are incumbent Karen V. Anderson, Greg Baker, incumbent Jimmy F. Garner, incumbent Anthony Vincent Gudac, incumbent Phil Pittman and David Ray. Mayor Jeff Holt is unopposed in his bid for re-election.
Princeton – Mayor Donald B. Rains and commissioners David C. Starling and Larry Withrow are unopposed in their bids for re-election.
Selma – For mayor, voters will choose from among Dennis Davis, incumbent Cheryl Oliver and Jeff Watson. For two council seats, voters will choose from among incumbent Eric E. Jackson, incumbent Jackie Lacy, Lillie “Shorty” Jernigan Langston and William E. Overby.
Smithfield – The town has just one contested council race: Carvus Andrew “Andy” Byrd III against Roger A. “Chubs” Wood in District 4. Unopposed in Smithfield are John Lampe for mayor, Marlon A. Lee in District 1, incumbent Perry Harris in District 2 and Travis Scott in District 3.
Wilson’s Mills – Unopposed are Phillip R. Wright for mayor and Fleta A. Byrd, Randy N. Jernigan and Kenneth R. Jones for council.
Whitley Heights Sanitary District Commissioner – John L. McLean is unopposed.
All polling locations will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
To find where you should vote, visit: ncsbe.gov/PrecinctFinder.aspx.
To find the address of you polling place, visit: johnstonnc.com/joconcelections/pollingplaces.cfm or call the Johnston County Board of Elections at 919-989-5095.
Municipal elections usually see low turnout, said Leigh Anne Price, supervisor of Johnston elections. In 2012, for the presidential election, 75,842 people voted, she said. In the 2011 municipal election, just 4,081 people cast ballots.
Price said adding a countywide bond referendum to the ballot doesn’t increase turnout. During the last bond referendum, some precincts only had 10 people vote.
Price said people should vote in town elections.
“You should take advantage of being able to vote for the leadership in your community,” she said.