Nobody running for mayor, town council in Newsoms

Published 11:09 am Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Newsoms acting mayor/vice mayor Harvey Porter earlier this month resigned as a condition of dismissal of one of the pending lawsuits against him for his role in the town’s recent digressions, which includes — but is far from limited to — unlawfully holding closed meetings and attempting to terminate the town’s police chief.

Porter, who assumed the role of acting mayor on Aug. 20, 2015, after mayor Kenneth Cooke resigned from his post, cannot run for an elected office for five years as part of the conditional agreement.

Now — with under a week until mayoral and town council elections — Southampton County Assistant Registrar Lynn Burgess said that nobody has filed paperwork to run for those respective positions in the Town of Newsoms.

“No one turned in [election] papers,” Burgess said. “Everything that is on the ballot can be write-ins.”

Randolph Cooke, who represents the Newsoms District on the Southampton County Board of Supervisors, said he was surprised that nobody filed paperwork to run.

“I talked to several people who seemed to be interested, but they didn’t. My only hope is that — when we get the blank ballot in the mail — people get out and vote for qualified candidates to take and lead the town forward,” Cooke said.

Town attorney Tim Drewry echoed that sentiment, and said, “I would have expected at least three or four [town council members] to run again.”

If the registrar’s office does not receive any write-in votes, the current town council — whose terms end on June 30 — would discuss holding another election or defer to the court system to appoint a mayor and new town council members.

“Until we see what people do, it’s a wait and see,” Drewry said.

Town council members Judith Rose and Joseph Stewart and former mayoral candidate Vanless Worrell, who was briefly named mayor in October, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. Worrell did not assume the role after the Virginia Municipal League said the Code of Virginia requires that a majority of the body is needed to elect a new major, and therefore three of the six votes Worrell received were not enough. Messages left with town secretary Ruth Dunn were not returned, either, though town offices are not open for business until Wednesday.

Candidates for mayor and town council in other localities include:


Mayor: R. Speir Edwards Jr.

Town Council: Linda Beaty, Daniel Boone, Tasha Clemons, Samantha Darden, F.W. “Freddy” Felts, James “Hank” Fuller, Carolyn Modlin and Jerry Rice


Mayor: William Kitchen IV

Town Council: William Davis, William Jarratt Jr., Sharon Jones, Erma Joyner, Deborah Starke and Reginald Vaughan Sr.


Mayor: Danny Williams

Town Council

Ward A: Rheila Johnson and Maxine Darden Nowlin

Ward B: Jason Fowler and Jerry Morgan

Ward C: LouAnne Davis and Stanley Piersa Jr.


Mayor: Sandra “Sandy” Vick

Town Council: Ryan Ballinger, C. Merell Carl Jr., Wayne “Junkyard” Clark, Bobby Crumpler Sr., Richard Hickman and Thomas “Tommy” Pittman.