Close money race in sheriff primary

Woodard, Boykin nearly even in campaign spending

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Wilson County Sheriff Calvin Woodard and challenger Chris Boykin spent nearly identical sums on their Democratic primary campaigns this year, according to financial disclosure forms released this week.

The Committee to Re-Elect Calvin Woodard reported $23,815.64 in expenditures for the Jan. 1-April 21 reporting period, with the Committee to Elect Chris Boykin spending $23,684.74. Through the election cycle, Boykin outspent Woodard by about $3,500, with the challenger reporting $27,934.31 in expenditures to the incumbent’s $24,592.46.

Fellow Democratic sheriff candidate Dinise Williams spent just $3,036.62 in her primary bid.

Woodard coasted to his third consecutive primary nomination May 8 with about 71.3 percent of the vote. Boykin finished with 26.6 percent, and Williams received the remaining 2.1 percent. Woodard will face Republican candidate Kevin Raper in November’s general election.

The two-term sheriff raised $33,057.94 this year, while Boykin collected $29,770, and Williams reported $3,923.39.

Including in-kind contributions and a $5,000 personal check, Woodard pumped $9,295.93 into his own war chest. He also reported 423 aggregated contributions from individuals — personal contributions of $50 or less for which state law does not require donors’ names to be reported — for a total of $7,892.

Boykin tallied 14 individual contributions of $50 or less for a total of $640 in the first quarter. Williams had four such campaign pledges totaling $138.25.

Disclosure forms showed 40 contributions to Woodard’s campaign from active Wilson County Sheriff’s Office employees, with some deputies and non-sworn staff members making multiple donations.

Campaign contributions were spent on candidate filing fees, political signs, advertising, campaign headquarters and facility rentals, event sponsorships and costs associated with holding fundraisers.


Notable Woodard campaign contributors include former Gov. Jim Hunt, Wilson County Democratic Party Chairwoman Linda Cooper-Suggs, former county manager Ellis Williford, construction company owner and property manager Ralph Hodge, Winstead Elementary School principal Tracy Joyner and Parker’s Barbecue co-owner Eric Lippert.

Boykin’s notable supporters include Wilson County Commissioner Bill Blackman; Wilson City Councilmen Logan Liles and Donald Evans; Wilson Housing Authority president Kelly Vick; attorneys Will Farris, Charles Thomas, Eliot Smith, Robert Rountree, Rhyan Breen and Mark Bibbs; Fremont Police Chief Paul Moats; and retiree Frank Eagles, former Wilson Community College president.

Williams earned the support of Scott Farms owner Linwood H. Scott of Lucama.

The Wilson Times examined campaign finance reports filed with the Wilson County Board of Elections to provide a snapshot of candidate fundraising in local races. Listed below are contributors for each candidate who gave $250 or more through the current election cycle. Disclosure forms record contributors’ name, address and occupation in addition to the amount they gave.


• Abner Allan, Wilson, business owner, $500

• John Bissette, Wilson, Wilson County detention officer, $250

• Steve Brewer, Wilson, business owner, $500

• Marc Connor, Wilson, Wilson County sheriff’s deputy, $585.57

• George A. Edwards, Elm City, private investigator, $280

• Michael Harris, Elm City, barber, Stylemasters Barber Shop, $500

• Charles Ralph Hodge, Wilson, owner, Ralph Hodge Construction, $500

• James Hunt, Lucama, attorney and former governor, $1,000

• Eric Lippert, Wilson, Parker’s Barbecue co-owner, $429.60, in-kind contributions

• Jeff Moore, Wilson, retired Wilson County deputy, $250

• Kathleen Moyer, Wilson, retiree, $300

• Hareth Abdo Nasser, Wilson, business owner, $2,000

• Alvin Raby, Wilson, Wilson County sheriff’s deputy, $510

• Wanda D. Samuel, Wilson, sheriff’s office chief of staff, $533.84

• Randolph Sessoms, Kenly, retiree, $250

• Robert Smith, Wilson, retired Wilson County magistrate, $250

• W. Earl Taylor, Wilson, Taylor Law Office attorney, $1,000

• David Tugwell, Black Creek, occupation not listed, $310

• Harry Williams, Elm City, Wilson County sheriff’s logistics officer, $325

• Ellis Williford, Wilson, retired county manager, $250


• Audrey Brewer, Wilson, Brewer Meat Products co-owner, $500

• N. Johnson Bissette, Wilson, Bissette Realty owner, $250

• Mark G. Hooper, Wilson, chiropractor, $350

• Karen E. Bass, Morehead City, Down East Off-Road co-owner, $1,000

• William M.J. Farris, Wilson, attorney, $1,400

• Jonathan S. Barbee, Lucama, Construct Inc. owner, $500

• Gregory A. Turnage, Wilson, Tag Development owner/operator, $2,500

• Charles A. Thomas, Wilson, attorney, $300

• Patricia Batchelor, Lucama, retiree, $500

• Alton Glover, Wilson, retiree, $500

• R.C.M. Rountree, Wilson, attorney, $1,500

• Joyce G. Lamm, Wilson, occupation not listed, $250

• Mark Levin, Brandwave Ink owner, $275

• Edwin R. Jones, Wilson, retired Eagle Transport vice president, $500

• William R. Brantley, Wilson, B&H Construction owner/operator, $500

• Scarlett Neal, Kenly, County of Wilson nurse, $500

• Donald Evans, Wilson, retiree, $500

• Sandra Boykin, Sims, retiree, $500

• Linda Matthews, Wilson, homemaker, $300

• Joseph J. Chesson, Wilson, real estate agent, $300

• Edith Pearson, Stantonsburg, retiree, $1,100

• Julia Tyson Bass, Lucama, retiree, $4,000

• Mazin Saleh, Wilson, Saleh Properties owner/operator, $2,500

• Christopher A. Bass, Lucama, Bass Farms owner/operator, $2,000

• Megan Lively, Wilson, marketing professional, $250

• Jimmie Earl Smith, Wilson, Smithco Plumbing owner/operator, $250


• William D. Robinette, Wilson, retiree, $1,000

• Linwood H. Scott, Lucama, Scott Farms owner, $500