Judge retires to run for N.C. Senate


Staff Writer

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The first week of elections filings in the Twin Counties was all about incumbents. With only a couple of exceptions, all the candidates who tossed their hats into the ring are already holding the office for which they seek.

And one candidate is again looking to fill a lawmaker's seat after years on the bench. Wilson County Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Milton Toby Fitch Jr. retired Friday to run for N.C. Senate District 4, which includes Edgecombe, Halifax and Wilson counties.

He served as a judge for 16 years.

“I’ve had the privilege to hold court in many counties of our state,” Fitch said. “I am very proud, humbled and feel honored and privileged to have been chosen by the voters of Edgecombe and Wilson counties to be “Your Judge” since Dec. 30, 2001.”

Prior to becoming a judge, Fitch represented Edgecombe and Wilson counties in the N.C. House for four terms.

N.C. Rep. Bobbie Richardson, a Franklin County Democrat, filed for re-election for N.C. House District 7 that is now comprised of all of Franklin County and five Nash County precincts: Bailey, Middlesex, Samaria, Stanhope and Coopers. Richardson has been in the House for five years.

Local pastors James Gailliard, a Democrat, and John Check, a Republican, filed for N.C. House District 25.

N.C. Sen. Rick Horner, R-Wilson, moved back to his native Nash County from Wilson County so that he can file to run in N.C. Senate District 11.

Nash County board Chairman Robbie Davis and Vice Chairman Wayne Outlaw, incumbent Republicans, filed for re-election.

Democratic commissioners Mary Wells and Fred Belfield also filed for re-election to the Nash County Board of Commissioners.

Longtime court clerk Linda Thorne filed to run for Nash County Clerk of Court, fueling speculation that long-serving Clerk of Court Rachel Joyner, a Democrat, won't seek re-election.

Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone, a Republican, filed for re-election.

In Edgecombe County, Democrats dominated the field.

N.C. Rep. Shelly Willingham, D-Edgecombe, filed to run for re-election in N.C. House District 23.

Claiborne Holtzman, a Republican, also filed to run in N.C. House District 23. He's ran unsuccessfully for the N.C. Gen. Assembly in 2010.

Carol White, a Democrat, filed to run again for Clerk of Court. Clee Atkinson, a Democrat, filed to run for sheriff of Edgecombe County. He was selected for the position early last year.

Incumbent Democrats Donald Boswell, Billy Wooten and Wayne Hines filed for re-election to the Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners.

The Edgecombe County Board of Education will be a non-partisan election in the May primary. Filing for re-election were incumbent Democrats Evelyn Wilson, Ann Kent and Marva Scott.

The filing period ends noon Feb. 28. Primary elections will be May 8.