in sheriff’s race
LUMBERTON — Burnis Wilkins, whose law enforcement career spans five decades, ended a 17-month campaign to become Robeson County sheriff on Tuesday night by coming out on top in a crowded campaign that was often ugly.
Wilkins, who used social media to get out his message of a credential-based campaign, garnered 8,498 votes to defeat Ronnie Patterson, the Red Springs police chief, who had 7,179.
Running third with 2,555 votes was Randy Graham. He was followed by James Jones, a retired Highway Patrol trooper, with 1,500 votes and George Kenworthy, the Robeson County jail administrator, with 540 votes.
to square off
FAYETTEVILLE — Democratic incumbent Sheriff Ennis Wright easily took the next step toward another term and will face off against Republican challenger Charlie Baxley in the Nov. 6 general election.
Wright took 82.7 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary with 12,003 — well ahead of Jeff Marks with 1,890 and Denny Davis with 831.
Baxley attracted 3,669 votes, or 54 percent, to finish ahead of Carlton Sallie with 1,164; Victor Starling with 1,020; and LaRue Windham with 944.
headed for runoff
CLINTON — A dead heat in the Sampson Clerk of Superior Court’s race is now poised for a runoff between Chris Fann and Chris Driver for the Republican nomination in that race, as the two were neck and neck — but neither achieved the 30 percent benchmark to win outright.
With all precincts reporting Tuesday, Fann tallied 29.1 percent of the vote (1,001 votes) and Driver tallied 28.1 percent of the vote (967 votes).
Driver is expected to request the runoff.
On the Democratic side of the ticket, Tammy Grady beat out Brent Baggett and Jerry Bradshaw for the party nod in the Clerk of Court race, earning close to 57.6 percent of the vote.
WHITEVILLE — An incumbent Columbus County commissioner was upset in primary voting on Tuesday.
Democratic challenger Jerome McMillian ousted District 1 incumbent Amon Mackenzie from his seat on the board by an unofficial tally of 580-342. Another challenger, Ryan Featherson, garnered 154 votes to finish third.
From staff and wire reports.