An Edgecombe County emergency worker is challenging an incumbent who is seeking his second term for the Ward 2 seat on the Tarboro Town Council.
Political newcomer John Simms Jr. is vying against incumbent Al Hull.
Hull, 68, said he hopes to continue serving as a conservative voice for the Town Council.
He said he would like to help grow small businesses in the community and help attract more industries to the area.
Like many municipalities, Tarboro has faced economic challenges during recent years, Hull said. He said town leaders have worked to maintain the services the town provides for the community at the same quality level.
“That’s all you can hope for until times get better,” Hull said. “Then we can expand on doing other things.”
If re-elected, he said he would continue to work to help keep the town’s finances in order. Hull said he doesn’t want the town to borrow money so it can spend money.
He said he’s not pushing any one agenda item. Issues like education, jobs, health and human services, the aging population and recreation are important to him, Hull said.
Hull is a former small business owner. He now works as a Realtor.
In his spare time, Hull enjoys cycling. People might notice him on the roads riding a Carolina blue bike or a purple and gold bike. He rides about 5,000 miles a year throughout Edgecombe, Halifax and Wilson counties.
Simms, 57, works for the Edgecombe County Rescue Squad as an Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate. He also teaches first aid and CPR part time at Edgecombe Community College.
He served as president of the Edgecombe County Fire and Rescue Association for about 10 years, until last year.
Simms said he has lived in Tarboro for most of his life, and he wants to help grow the town. If elected, he said he would work to attract new jobs and make sure the town is safe.
“It’s a beautiful place to come and raise your kids,” Simms said. “I’d like for it to grow.”
Simms said he also would like to help the town bring in new people and new industries. Promoting growth and more jobs would be among his top priorities, he said.
“I want it so people will be able to come in and make a life in Tarboro,” Simms said.
He said he’s willing to listen, and he hopes to serve as a voice for the people.
“I want people to call me and tell me their concerns,” Simms said.
One person can’t fix everything, Simms said, but people working together can create positive solutions and results.
Garland Shepheard is running unopposed for the Ward 8 seat on the Town Council. Ward 8 incumbent Robert Cherry is not seeking re-election.
One-stop early voting sites for the May 8 primary opened Thursday. They will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through May 5.