Daughtridge cruises to big win in Ward 5
BY JOHN H. WALKER
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Rocky Mount businessman Elijah “Lige” Daughtridge said Tuesday night that he would push for a more transparent municipal government as a member of the Rocky Mount City Council.
Daughtridge, 48, led from start to finish as he defeated Robert Cordell in the race for the Ward 5 seat being vacated by incumbent Tom Rogers, who chose to not seek re-election. Daughtridge tallied 1,111 votes to 399 for Cordell, according to unofficial election results.
“We need to inform the citizens of our actions every step of the way,” he said. “That includes televising all council meetings and all committee meetings.”
Daughtridge said the only exceptions would be portions of meetings closed under North Carolina’s Open Meetings Act.
He also said he felt elected city officials also should be required to file a statement of economic interest, as are state officials. These forms require disclosure of financial relationships and holdings in order for the State Ethics Commission to address potential conflicts of interest in the exercise of a public official’s government duty. These forms become a public record when filed.
“When dealing with city business, our elected and employed officials have to operate with the highest ethical standards and avoid the appearance of any conflict and self-interest,” he said.
Daughtridge has been active in community affairs and is a frequent attendee and speaker at City Council meetings. He is well known for his well-researched questions regarding projects and expenditures.
“I intend to focus on accountability and transparency in the expenditures and policies in our city governance,” he said.
He heads Daughtridge Sales, an industrial supply house specializing in pressure implementation.
Daughtridge became interested in city government while serving as chairman of the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce in 2012.
“I have a reputation as being Mr. No, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” he once told the Telegram. “I just think we should be smart and prudent when it comes to tax dollars.”
He said Rocky Mount needs to maintain and expand infrastructure to enhance a strong local economy and also needs to work to attract and retain high-quality employees with a special emphasis on emergency services and utilities.
Daughtridge won the early vote by a margin of 693-198 en route to a five-precinct sweep when the final votes from Precinct 18A were posted:
■ 14A — Daughtridge, 83-7.
■ 15A — Daughtridge, 133-65-1.
■ 18A — Daughtridge, 351-205-2.
■ 19A — Daughtridge, 478-84.
■ 20A — Daughtridge, 66-38.
Cordell, an Air Force veteran and retired educator, thanked his supporters for their hard work.
“I’d like to congratulate my opponent, whose family and workers were kind and ran a clean campaign to the very end,” Cordell said. “Sadly, my voters did not come in huge numbers, but the fight is still not quite done.”
Cordell said he would continue to attend council meetings and ask questions, speaking out for the people.