Voters welcome Kitchen, Smith to council

Published 10:10 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2020

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Ward 4’s Linwood Johnson, Mayor Frank Rabil to return


In spite of rain and a pandemic, voters still showed up to make their choices on Election Day.

Mark Kitchen and C. Ray Smith will join Franklin City Council when they’re sworn in before or soon after the new fiscal year on July 1. They will represent wards 1 and 2 respectively, formerly held by Benny Burgess and Barry Cheatham, who chose not to seek re-election.

Kitchen got 248 votes (98.80 percent); there were three write-ins (1.20 percent).

Smith received 149 votes (70.62 percent); there were 62 write-ins (29.38 percent) by last-minute contestant Wydia Bailey.

He said on Tuesday evening, “You’re never confident ’til the last votes counted,” adding his commendations to Bailey. “She ran a nice campaign and got a considerable amount of votes.”

Smith continued, “I’m just looking forward to learning more about city operations. For the last two years I’ve attended all the meetings, but there’s always things to learn.”

Bailey said later, “I did have a good race! I was very, very surprised. Very pleased. I’m not a politician. Nothing was pre-planned. I’m very proud. I’m really OK. I made a little history. I stood up and gave a choice.”

She will continue to follow council, especially since her business is downtown.

As for the next election? Bailey added that if she’s asked to run, “I might,” then added with laughter, “but don’t ask me at the last minute!”

At the Ward 2 voting site in the Ruth Camp Campbell Library, voting official Stella Bradshaw said that voting had been steady all day. “Enough to keep us busy,” she added.

By 6 p.m., there had been 160 people showing up to cast ballots. There are 976 active voters out of 1,031 qualified in the ward.

With Kitchen and Smith will be incumbent Linwood Johnson of Ward 4. He got 66 votes (53.23 percent) versus his challenger, Henri Porter, who had 58 votes (46.77 percent).

Johnson said in reaction that he feels “Great! Great! I’ve some unfinished business to continue getting the city to move forward, as well as helping the ward with more jobs, better economic and getting empty buildings filled with businesses.

“I’m very very grateful to those who voted in a time of pandemic. For those who met the challenge, I’m appreciative to them. For those who didn’t vote for me, I’m still their councilman and will serve them as well.”

Porter congratulated Johnson and his team on their win.

“I want to thank my beautiful wife (Oralen) and my campaign manager, Marcellia Faltz and my team,” he said. His gratitude extended to spiritual advisors pastors Jeremiah Cole and Michael Whitting, as well as his own pastor, the Rev. Anthony Rawlings.

“I will continue my quest to be a voice for the people of Ward 4,” said Porter. “And I will do anything to help move the ward and city ahead.”

Voters also returned Frank Rabil to serve as mayor. He received 824 votes (94.39 percent); there were 49 write-in votes (5.61 percent).

As with all elections, these results are unofficial until the Franklin City Voter Registrar Jennifer Maynard can confirm the numbers.

The same holds for Southampton County, according to its Voter Registrar Lynn Burgess, who said,

“Voting is always light in Southampton when it comes to town elections.”

But as of press time, results had not yet been posted to the state board of elections. These unofficial results are as follows:


Mayor: Incumbent Hank Fuller received 29 votes (43.94 percent), but there were 37 write-ins (56.06 percent) for the job.

Town Council: Freddy Felts (63 votes; 19.50 percent); Linda Edwards Beatty (62 votes; 19.20 percent); Jackie Robertson (71 votes; 21.98 percent); Carolyn Modlin (51 votes; 15.79 percent); Jerry Rice (67 votes (20.74 percent); write-ins (9 votes; 2.79 percent)


Mayor: Incumbent W. Nick Kitchen IV had nine votes, which was 100 percent.

Town Council: William G. Jarratt Jr. (10 votes; 18.18 percent); Amy C. Davis, Reginald T. Vaughan Sr., Erma W. Joyner, Joseph T. “Joey” Everett Jr. and Timothy M. Futrell each had nine votes (16.36 percent).


Mayor: Incumbent Danny R. Williams received 100 percent of the vote (46).

Town Council: Shameka M. Key (votes; 36.36 percent); Maxine Darden Nowlin (14 votes; 63.64 percent) in District A; Jerry C. Morgan (14 votes; 50 percent); Jason C. Fowler (14 votes; 50 percent) in District B; Stanley Adam Piersa Jr. (6 votes; 18.75 percent); Lou Anne Davis (12 votes; 37.50 percent); Sandra E. Joyner (14 percent; 43.75 percent).


Mayor: Incumbent Tara B. Kea got 53 votes (88.33 percent); there were seven write-ins (11.67 percent).

Town Council: Frank Cook (64 votes; 16.33 percent): H. Massey Joyner (61 votes; 15.56 percent); Charles Stallard (65 votes; 16.58 percent); C. Merrell Carr Jr. (65 votes; 16.58 percent); Roland Nelson Britt (57 votes; 14.54 percent); Paul S. Kea Jr. (53 votes; 13.52 percent); Judith D. Radford (11 votes; 2.81 percent); Bobby L. Crumpler (12 votes; 3.06 percent); write-ins (4 votes; 1.02 percent).


Mayor: Incumbent Vanless D. “VD” Worrell received 29 votes (82.86 percent); there were six write-ins (17.14 percent)

Town Council: Carol Drake Majors (28 votes; 23.53 percent); Raymond Neil Drake (29 percent; 24.37 percent); Damian P. Dwyer (27 votes; 22.69 percent); and 35 write-ins (29.41 percent).