Dems spar over sheriff pick


Staff Writer

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

TARBORO — Selecting a new sheriff has triggered in-fighting between two top Edgecombe County Democrats, leading to online inflammatory comments and name-calling.

The ongoing and unfolding fight between the Rev. Roosevelt Higgs, chairman of the local Democratic Party, and Curmilus Dancy II, chairman of the party’s 11-1 precinct, has gone viral. Dancy posted that Higgs can’t intimidate him like he does “ignorant white folks;” and Higgs fired back, accusing Dancy of “acting like a little vagina.”

The two support different candidates to replace retiring Sheriff James Knight. Since Knight is a Democrat, the Edgecombe County Democratic Party Executive Committee is allowed to select someone to finish out his term, which runs until the end of 2018.

The Edgecombe County Human Relations Commission is set to hold a candidate forum 6 p.m. March 9 at the Rocky Mount campus of Edgecombe Community College.

Dancy, who has announced support for one of the candidates, wants the party to skip the forum and hold a meeting to select the next sheriff.

A candidate forum sponsored by the Edgecombe County Democratic Women was held last month in Tarboro. At that forum, it was announced that Higgs was tossing his name into the hat for the sheriff’s appointment. Higgs wasn’t at that meeting and said later he would comment after Knight retired.

Higgs said Friday he has called in N.C. Sen. Don Davis, D-Greene, to preside over the upcoming forum. Davis also chairs the 1st Congressional District Democratic Party, which includes Edgecombe County.

Higgs said he did so in the interest of transparency and to ensure fairness.

Dancy posted on Facebook that Higgs was the “author of confusion” for having another forum instead of calling for a meeting to appoint a replacement.

“This is the monster that the Democratic Party created,” Dancy said, adding that at least three of the local Democratic Party officers are also on the Human Relations Commission. Dancy said the Democratic Women’s forum was well attended and there’s no need for another forum.

Dancy said Higgs is allowed to play games because he has weak party officers.

The conflict was made public when Dancy posted three voice messages he received from Higgs last week.

In the first message, Higgs said he wanted to attend this year’s 11-1 precinct meeting, which Dancy chairs, and had other people asking about it.

"I've got some other people from that precinct that called me wanting to know when that meeting is," Higgs stated. "I told them the primary date is Wednesday, Feb. 22, and can't start until 6 o'clock. So anyway, let me know exactly, I think whoever show up can move forward with the meeting anyway. But give me a call because I want to attend it."

Dancy posted the message online followed by a recording of his own in which he says no one will hold a meeting in his precinct except himself and warns Higgs not to call him again.

"Now you cannot intimidate me like you do ignorant white folks and ignorant safe Negros," Dancy stated. "I'm not the one. You know that. We go way back. Again this is your first and final warning. Do not ever call my name, my number again. If you need to contact me do it through the secretary or any other Democrat. But do not call my phone again. This is your final warning. Next time I get one I will do like I did in the past and go take papers out on you because I don't have time to play. I got more important issues to deal with. Thank you."

Dancy posted a second message from Higgs in which Higgs reminds Dancy that he only has two votes in his precinct as far as the sheriff's appointment.

"What about posting on that website you got that you only have two votes ... and stop acting like a little child over nothing," Higgs stated. "Your two votes won't even make a difference one way or the other when that vote comes in. So stop acting like a little child, Dancy. I don't know what's wrong with you. You act like the older you get the more of a child you get. You going back to a baby? I'm surprised at you. Come on brother. Come on brother. Step out of the dream; come into the real world. You're under my spell until I let you go, Dancy."

In another voice mail, Higgs asks Dancy why he doesn't answer him, but instead posts his messages to YouTube.

"Be a man, Dancy, and talk to the doctor," Higgs stated. "You acting like a vagina. Are you a vagina? Are you a vagina, Dancy? Be a man. Man up and talk to the doctor. Acting like a little, I want to say what it is, but I'm going to say vagina again. You acting like a little vagina, Dancy. What's wrong with you?"