Two supervisors not seeking re-election
Four others have opponent on ballot
At a minimum, Southampton County’s Board of Supervisors will have two new faces in 2020, as two of the current members – R. Randolph Cook of the Newsoms District and Barry Porter of the Franklin District – have indicated they plan to step down at the end of their current terms this year. Of the five members running for re-election this November, four will have opponents listed on the ballot.
Porter, speaking to The Tidewater News on Friday, said that after discussing the matter with his family and “a lot of consideration” he decided not to run for office again.
“I made it clear from the beginning I wasn’t going to make it a long-term career,” Porter said. “I made it pretty clear last time when I ran that that was going to be my last term.”
According to Lynn Burgess, Southampton County’s voter registrar, as of the county’s June 11 deadline for candidates to file the paperwork for getting their names on the November ballot, the following candidates had done so for the Franklin District: Robert White, Winston Andy Johnson and Earva Lee “Sumblin” Jones.
However, only one candidate, Linda Updike, had filed by that date to be on the ballot for the Newsoms District.
“Working for a growing business, I’m out of town a lot,” Cook said of his reasons for stepping down from the Board. “I just want to spend more time moving our business forward and spending more time with my grandkids.”
Running against incumbent Carl Faison for the Boykins/Branchville District seat is Robert Chet Poland. Running against incumbent Bruce Phillips for the Capron District seat is William Hart Gillette. Dr. Alan Edwards, the incumbent Jerusalem District representative, is running for re-election unopposed.
For the Berlin/Ivor District, Christopher Cornwell Sr. is challenging incumbent Ronald West. For the Drewryville District, David Everett is challenging incumbent Dallas Jones, who currently serves as the Board’s chairman.
Dallas Jones, West and Faison have all served on the Board since 2007, according to Burgess. Edwards and Porter were first elected in 2011 and Cook was elected in 2015.
Also up for election this November are the following constitutional officers: sheriff, commissioner of revenue, treasurer, and commonwealth’s attorney.
For sheriff, the candidates are Lt. Tommy Potter, currently of the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office; Sgt. Mark Turner of the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office; Capt. Josh Wyche, also of the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office; and John Brown, a retired Virginia state trooper.
For commissioner of revenue, Jennifer Cuthbertson is challenging incumbent Amy Carr. For treasurer, Cynthia Edwards is challenging incumbent Rhonda Griffin.
For commonwealth’s attorney, Eric Cooke is running for re-election unopposed. There will also be two seats open for the county’s soil and water conservation board. On the ballot for these will be Gary Cross and M.L. Everett.
A Town Council election is also scheduled this November for the town of Branchville. On the ballot for mayor is Nancy Phelps Barrett, who is running unopposed. For Council, three seats are available, and there are three candidates: Patricia Peterson, Silvie Worrell-Murphy and W. Harvey Umphlett Jr.