Columbus County voters will go to the polls in May. Here are some primary races to watch

By Sarah Nagem

After plenty of confusion about district map, Columbus County voters will go to the polls on May 17 for a primary election.

Here are some key points ahead of the election, which will set the state for the general election in November:

  • Republican Brenden Jones faces no competition in the primary or general election for District 46 in the N.C. House of Representatives. The district, newly drawn by the state’s GOP lawmakers, includes all of Columbus County and part of Robeson County. Rep. Carson Smith, a Republican who represents part of Columbus County in the N.C. House, will have a new district that only includes Pender County.
  • Republican state Sen. Bill Rabon faces no competition to serve District 8, which will include Columbus and Brunswick counties. (Republican Sen. Danny Britt serves Columbus under the existing map.) 
  • Statewide, a very crowded field of candidates is running for the U.S. Senate, including former N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory and U.S. House member Ted Budd, both Republicans, and Democrat Cheri Beasley, former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Incumbent Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican, is not seeking re-election.
  • Locally, two Democrats are running on the primary ballot for Columbus County sheriff, hoping to replace Republican Jody Greene in the fall. 
  • Voters will elect a new member to the Columbus County Board of Commissioners, since incumbent Charles McDowell is not running to keep his seat in District 7. 

Columbus County has about 36,200 registered voters, according to the N.C. State Board of Elections

In primary elections, voters must fill out a ballot associated with their registered political party. Unaffiliated voters can choose which party’s ballot to fill out. The county has about 15,344 registered Democrats, 10,100 registered Republicans and 10,700 unaffiliated voters, data shows. 

Here’s a list of everyone who is running in the primary in Columbus County: 

Columbus County Sheriff


Victor Jacobs, Whiteville

Jason Soles, Whiteville

(No Republican primary)

Columbus County Board of Commissioners (District 01)


Barbara Roseboro Featherson, Whiteville

Jerome McMillian, Fair Bluff (incumbent)

Marcus Norfleet, Chadbourn

(No Republican primary)

Columbus County Board of Commissioners (District 07)


Scott S. Floyd, Whiteville

Ronald Gore, Nakina

Mike Richardson, Nakina

(No Democratic primary)

Whiteville Mayor

Terry Mann  

Whiteville City Council (District 01)

Helen Bryan Holden (incumbent)

Vickie Shepherd Pait (incumbent)

Guillaume Slama

John Elbert Thompson III 

Whiteville City Council (District 01, unexpired)

Emory Worley

Whiteville City Council (District 02)

Tim Collier

U.S. House (District 7)


Charles E. Evans, Fayetteville

Charles Graham, Lumberton

Yushonda Midgette, Winnabow

Steve Miller, Wilmington


David Rouzer, Wilmington (incumbent)

Max Southworth-Beckwith, Currie

U.S. Senate


James L. Carr, Jr., Harrisburg

Robert Colon, Wallace

Alyssia Rose-Katherine Hammond, Raleigh

Constance (Lov) Johnson, Charlotte

Tobias LaGrone, Greensboro

B. K. Maginnis, Charlotte

Rett Newton, Beaufort

Marcus W. Williams, Lumberton

Greg Antoine, Fayetteville

Cheri Beasley, Raleigh

Chrelle Booker, Tryon


Marjorie K. Eastman, Cary

David Flaherty, Cameron

Benjamin E. Griffiths,

Kenneth Harper, Jr., Archdale

Pat McCrory, Charlotte

Charles Kenneth Moss, Randleman

Lichia Sibhatu, Raleigh

Debora Tshiovo, Moravian Falls

Mark Walker, Summerfield

Jen Banwart, Fuquay-Varina

Ms. Lee A. Brian, Clayton

Leonard L. Bryant, Fayetteville

Ted Budd, Advance

Drew Bulecza, Lincolnton

N.C. Supreme Court Associate Justice (Seat 05)


Victoria E. Prince, Greensboro

April C. Wood, Lexington

Trey Allen, Hillsborough

(No Democratic primary)

N.C. Court of Appeals (Seat 09)


Beth Freshwater Smith, Wilson

Donna Stroud, Garner

(No Democratic primary)

N.C. Court of Appeals (Seat 11)


Michael J. Stading, Charlotte

Charlton L. Allen, Mooresville

N.C. District Court Judge (District 13 Seat 02)


Preston B. Hilton, Leland

Bryan Wilson, Winnabow

(No Democratic primary)