Candidates forum scheduled for Thursday

Election Day is a month away, and early voting for Havelock’s three Board of Commissioners seats is less than a month away.

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 city election is Friday, though same-day registration can take place during the early-voting period from Oct. 22 to 31 at the Craven County Board of Elections Office in New Bern.

Three city board seats are up for election, with incumbents Danny Walsh, Karen Lewis and Peter Van Vliet all running to hold their seats. Challengers include Clinton Jones, Michele Leo, and Ninad “Nick” Patel.

George Corbin, who was appointed to fill Jim Stuart’s seat on the board after he had already filed to run for election, will have his name appear on the ballot. However, he said he does not want anyone voting for him.

“If I get any votes, it’s going to mess someone else up,” said Corbin. “I don’t want anyone voting for me. They (voters) have got a heck of a selection to make already.”

According to Melanie Wray, Craven County’s elections director, area officials had approached state officials about the possibility of removing Corbin’s name from the ballot but state law prohibited such action.

Wray said that should Corbin be one of the top three vote-getters on Nov. 3, he would have the option of remaining in his current seat, the term of which expires in 2017, or accepting his newly elected board seat, the term of which would not expire until 2019. In either scenario, the city would have to appoint a person to fill the other board seat.

But Corbin wants no part of the election.

“I’m staying out of it,” he said.

Those interested in getting to know the candidates can attend a candidates forum scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center. The Havelock Chamber of Commerce and the Havelock News are co-sponsoring the event.

The scheduled moderator is Henry Hinton, president and general manager of Inner Banks Media in Greenville. The former chairman of the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce hosts the Talk of the Town radio and cable TV show and has received service awards from East Carolina University as well as the N.C. Association of Broadcasters.

Light refreshments will be served at the forum.

Anyone interested in submitting a question for the candidates for the forum can do so by emailing the Havelock News at havenews@havenews.com or Stephanie Duncan, executive director of the Havelock Chamber of Commerce, at Stephanie@havelockchamber.org. Questions at the forum will be chosen at random.

For more information on the forum, call the chamber at 447-1101 or the Havelock News at 444-1999.

For more information on voter registration, call the Craven County Board of Elections at 636-6610 or go online to the county elections website at www.cravencountync.gov/departments/elc.cfm.