Election six days away

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The election is only six days away, and there are enough candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot to make anyone’s trip to the polls worthwhile.

First, the heated race for sheriff in Isle of Wight County. Smithfield Police Chief and Hampton Police Lt. James Crotts are attempting to unseat Sheriff Charlie Phelps. Marshall and Crotts have said they would bring professionalism back to the department, which Phelps has led for 24 years. The job pays $80,209 annually.

In the county’s Carrsville District, five men are running for one four-year position on the Board of Supervisors, which pays $11,744 annually. The district’s 4,892 voters will choose among Rex Alphin, J. Brian Carroll, Tom Gaskell, Joe Joyner or Ben Rideout to replace Kenneth Bunch, who chose not to run due to job commitments. A former Isle of Wight School Board member, Bunch was appointed one year ago to complete the term of Supervisor Phillip Bradshaw, who resigned after being named chief financial officer for Isle of Wight schools.

All five seem qualified and many of you know them as your neighbors and friends. The outcome should be interesting.

In Southampton County, for the first time in 28 years, incumbent Sheriff Vernie Francis is not running. Francis’ Chief Deputy Jack Stutts, a Democrat, and independents David Holland, a former assistant commander of personnel for the Fairfax Police Department, and Brian Marvel, a Franklin police officer, are vying for the $85,000-a-year job.

Finally, four Southampton County supervisors face challengers. Franklin District Supervisor Walter Young, a four-term Republican, is challenged by independent Barry Porter, and in the Capron District, two-term incumbent Moses Wyche is challenged by Bruce Phillips.

In the Jerusalem District, two-term Republican incumbent Anita Felts is challenged by independent Dr. Alan Edwards, and in the Newsoms District, two-term Republican Walt Brown is challenged by independent Glenn Updike.

The job pays $5,500 a year.

So, as you can see, there’s plenty of names on the ballot and plenty of issues. If you don’t know who to vote for, a useful resource might be the Voters Guide published in the Sunday, Oct. 30, issue of The Tidewater News. Extra copies are available at our office at 1000 Armory Drive, Franklin.