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Whiteville council adds two challengers, keeps one incumbent

Story by: Jefferson Weaver, The News Reporter

Two new faces will be on the Whiteville city council beginning in December.

Unofficial results from Tuesday’s municipal elections show former Parks and Recreation Director Tim Collier won the District Two seat from incumbent Harold Troy, 100-75, with one write-in.

In the four-way race for two seats in Whiteville District One, newcomer Justin Smith led the pack handily with 378, followed by incumbent Tim Blackmon with 206. Fellow incumbent Vickie Pait, who initially announced she would not run for reelection, earned 181, while Calvin Norton got 30 ballots. Write-ins totaled 12.

For the mayoral seat, incumbent Terry Mann gathered 505 votes to 94 write-ins, most of which were reportedly for former police officer Marc McGee, who ran an aggressive write-in campaign in recent weeks.

McGee and Mann sat a few feet from one another at the Board of Elections Tuesday night. McGee said he appreciated the support he received, and said he would be back.

“Next time we’ll be on the ballot,” he said.

The longtime police officer was drafted weeks before the election by supporters of cruising in downtown Whiteville. McGee said that while he thinks cruising can be an economic boost for the city, he understands there are other challenges facing the city as well.

“I want what is best for the people of the city,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere.”

Collier was fired by City Manager Darren Currie in April 2016, then reinstated by the city council and allowed to resign. Councilman Harold Troy, whom Collier defeated, voted to reinstate Collier, while the sole board member to vote against the re-hire, Tim Blackmon, won reelection Tuesday night. Collier is currently Parks and Recreation director for Chadbourn.

Collier said he does not intend to let the past affect his relationship with the board or staff.

“I want what is good for the citizens of the city of Whiteville,” he said. “I just want to do what I can to help out, and learn what I can do to help make things better. We have a great city, and I look forward to learning a lot.”

Collier also said he will be accessible to “anyone in the city”.

“Any and all decisions I make will be based on what the people of the community want,” he said. “I’m going to listen, and do everything I can to better serve them. I’m really humbled that I had so much support. I’m proud people had the confidence in me that they voted for me. I’m going to do my best. I just want to serve my town.”

Councilmembers in Whiteville serve staggered four-year terms, with elections held in years opposite county, state and federal races. The mayor serves a two-year term.

Stuart Rogers