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The first day of filing in Halifax County saw nine people throw their names in for six upcoming races.

Two incumbents and one newcomer filed for the at-large Halifax County Board of Commissioners seats.

Incumbents Vernon Bryant and Rives Manning filed Monday as did newcomer Bruce Temple.

Both Bryant and Manning’s terms expire next December as does the seat of Patrick Qualls who announced he will not seek re-election.

John Smith, who was appointed to fill the unexpired term of his son, Marcelle, filed to retain his District 2 board seat.

Halifax County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Scott Hall filed for the sheriff’s seat.

Incumbent Roanoke Rapids Mayor Emery Doughtie filed to retain his seat while challenger Greg Lawson, who last week announced his intention to run, will vie against the current mayor. Lawson filed Monday.

Wayne Smith filed to run for his District 2 city council seat and in Enfield challenger William M. Robinson filed for the mayor’s office.

Northampton County

In Northampton County Melvetta B. Taylor filed for the District 4 county commissioner seat and incumbent Clerk of Court Laquita G. Cooper filed to retain her seat.

Incumbent Sheriff Jack Smith filed and incumbent school board member Lucy Edwards filed to keep her seat on the board of education.

Franklin Williams, a challenger, filed to run for a seat on the board of education.

Candidate filing will continue until noon on Friday, December 17.

Intent to file

Meanwhile Monday Halifax County Superior Court Judge Norlan Graves announced his intention to file for election as he seeks the Democratic nomination for the seat that he was recently appointed to by Governor Roy Cooper.  

“This campaign is about new leadership in our county courts,” said Graves. “We need a new voice, new ideas and new leadership to protect and serve our county.”

Graves said, “As a former prosecutor and special deputy attorney general, I know the law, I know the critical role an impartial judge plays in being fair and responsive to all people before the court.” 

Graves has practiced in various courts including state superior and district courts, federal district courts, the federal court of appeals, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the North Carolina Industrial Commission, the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings, and the North Carolina Department of Labor. 

His litigation experience includes murder cases, law enforcement representation, medical malpractice, employment law, civil rights, administrative law and occupational safety and health.

“You need to project calm in the courtroom. You need to show judicial temperament. You must show our citizens the respect and dignity they deserve,” said Graves. “I have the background, the experience and the leadership to serve our courts. I look forward to campaigning and asking the people of Halifax County for their support and their vote.”