SMITHFIELD -- Republicans kept control of the Johnston County Board of Commissioners during Tuesday’s elections.
With all precincts reporting, District 4 incumbent DeVan Barbour held a 61-39 percent advantage over Democratic challenger Carol A. Brannock. Barbour brought in 44,266 votes to Brannock’s 28,277.
Barbour is a manager at a local insurance company and Benson resident. He has served on the board since 2004. Brannock is a Willow Springs resident and retired schoolteacher.
The two candidates have very different plans to deal with the county school district’s overcrowding problem. The district has requested $114 million to help build new schools and expand campuses. Barbour believes it can be done in phases over the next decade, with the passage of voter-approved school bonds. Brannock believes the district can accommodate the growth by switching to a year-round schedule, which would reduce the number of students using the facilities at any given time.
Brannock said she was disappointed with the outcome but she was pleased that so many people voted for her. She said it shows that a large portion of the county is unsatisfied with the way the board is doing things. “I hope they look at the numbers,” she said. “A significant number of people, especially in certain areas, are not at all happy.” Brannock won districts that include parts of Selma, Kenly and East Smithfield.
District 2 commissioner W. Ray Woodall chose not to run for re-election. He made the announcement in February, saying he wanted to focus on his health and his family. Ted Godwin, a Selma bank executive, will take his place.
Tony Braswell of Pine Level and Jeffrey Carver of Clayton also ran unopposed. Braswell has been on the board since 2004 and previously served as mayor of Pine Level. Carver has held his office since 2003 and is now the board’s vice chairman.
The board was criticized heavily for its passage of a new noise ordinance in September. The ordinance was adopted in response to a feud between neighbors over gunfire, drawing the ire of gun owners across the county.
Barbour could not be reached for comment.