Primus to challenge Dobbins Heights mayor

By: By Melonie McLaurin - [email protected]

By Melonie McLaurin

[email protected]

ROCKINGHAM — People filing for seats in Richmond County’s October and November municipal elections have picked up the pace in the last six days, with four days remaining before the filing period ends at noon Friday.

On Monday, Mary Ann Gibson filed to retain her seat on the Dobbins Heights Town Council, while Ernest Lee Primus stepped up to challenge two-term Mayor Antonio Blue for the Dobbins Heights gavel. Stephen Cranford filed to run for a seat on the Norman Town Council.


Last week Jeremy McKenzie, Lee Freeman and Elsie Freeman all threw their hats in the ring for one of the two seats up for grabs on the Ellerbe Town Council. One seat is currently occupied by John Sears Jr., the other is vacant. Mayor Lee Berry filed to keep his position.

Norman Town Councilwoman Tonia S. Collins filed to reclaim her seat, and Cynthia Watkins — formerly Cynthia Ingram — filed to keep her seat.

With two seats on the Dobbins Heights Town Council up for re-election, Eddie McRae became the second person to show interest. Barbara Young filed for one of the two seats now held by Gracie Jackson and Mary Ann Gibson. Blue, the mayor, filed to seek his third term.

Mayors Steve Morris of Rockingham and Bill Bayless of Hamlet will be on the ballot for re-election. But so far there’s been no word from Norman Mayor Kenneth Broadway or Hoffman Mayor Tommy Hart.

Wendy Massagee filed for a spot on Hamlet’s board, joining David H. Lindsey and current councilman Johnathan Buie in the race. There are three seats on that council to be filled, held by Buie, Tony Clewis and Pat Preslar.

Clewis told the Daily Journal on Thursday that he has not yet made a decision on whether to run. Preslar announced in late May that he would not be seeking re-election and was later named interim police chief in Mount Gilead.

The question seems to be, “Where is Hoffman?” So far, no one has filed for any of Hoffman’s open seats — not even the mayorship.

Anne M. Edwards filed last week for a first full-term seat on the Rockingham City Council. She was recently appointed to fill the unexpired term of Travis Billingsley, who relocated to Atlanta for a career opportunity.

Others running for city council seats in Rockingham are C. Bennett Deane III, Denise Sullivan and John Hutchinson.

Filing continues each day this week at 8 a.m. and ends at noon Friday.

Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.