Big Election Field in Caswell As Republican Candidates File
"Yanceyville, N.C. -- A last-minute deluge of Republican candidates produced Friday Caswell County's biggest election field in years. The Republicans, all of them from Stony Creek, even appeared to have clinched one election by offering a candidate for a minor position that Democrats usually ignore.
"And even experienced observers were predicting they'd win another office despite Democratic opposition.
"Sheriff Frank Daniel will have three opponents in the Democratic primary. Ralph O. Vernon, judge of Recorder's Court, also has three Democratic opponents. Two Democrats are in the race for Solicitor and two are seeking the House of Representatives seat.
"In the sheriff race with Daniel are W. A. Aldridge, Jack E. Watson and William L. Boone. The primary winner will take on J. Lester Cox, Republican, in the general election.
"Running against Vernon are the Rev. L. W. Smith, J. O. Evans, and Samuel Shaw. The GOP entry is Joseph F. Matkins.
"Clerk of Court George Harris is running unopposed in the primary, and has no Republican opposition in the November general election.
"Mrs. Ann Gatewood Poteat will try to unseat veteran Representative Ed Wilson in the Democratic primary. H. O. Davis filed for the office as a Republican.
"Three candidates for the Board of Education are unopposed, either in the Democratic primary or general election. They are C. N. Barker, running for the Milton-Dan River seat, Earl J. Smith of Yanceyville and David W. Wright, Jr., of Pelham Township. Barker and Smith are incumbents.
"Two Democrats, J. C. Wilkinson and Gilbert R. Lunsford, will contest for the Hightowers-Leesburg seat while Democrat incumbent N. L. Oliver will be opposed in Anderson-Stony Creek by Republican James F. Wyrick.
"W. Robert Briggs and Robert M. Fleetwood, Democrats, filed for the Leesburg-Milton seat on the Board of County Commissioners and Oscar B. Watlington and Bill R. Murphy, Democrats, are seeking the Yanceyville Township seat.
"Other Democratic County Commissioner candidates are James Y. Blackwell, Locust-Stony Creek; G. Irvin Aldridge, Hightowers-Anderson; and A. D. Swann, Dan River-Pelham.
"Three Republicans will vie for the right to challenge Blackwell in November. They are Otis E. Simmons, Robert E. Somers and Carl W. Perkins.
"The Republican who is assured of victory, barring a write-in upset, is Scott Gwynn, who is offering for Stony Creek Justice of the Peace. This is the only township with a Jaypee candidate. Normally Democrats don't run for Justice of the Peace. When this occurs, a Superior Court judge fills the office by appointment.
"Two Republicans have filed for Stony Creek Constable. They are Brodie James Terrell and John A. Strader. The winner in the Republican primary will take on Democrat John Howard Talley.
"Informed sources here were predicting Friday that the GOP candidate will win. While more Democrats are registered in Stony Creek township than Republicans, the township in the past several elections has been solidly in the Republican camp.
"There will be constable contests in five other townships but, in each of these, the race will be strictly Democratic.
"In Dan River, it will be Maynard S. Collie versus Teddy Willis. In Pelham L. H. Hamlett and Jim Adams are the opponents, while Locust Hill has three candidates, Walker Hodges, Kenneth Hodges and Benny E. McKinney.
"W. B. Totten and L. S. Massey are running for constable in Anderson township and Raymond Wilson and Leon Foster are vying for Yanceyville constable.
"Unopposed are James Webster in Leesburg and Ben H. Blaylock in Hightowers.
"A total of 54 candidates completed the filing procedures before the deadline. It's the biggest field since he became chairman of the County Board of Elections in 1954, W. D. McMullen said. Neither McMullen nor anyone else could recall when a Republican last held an office in this solidly Democratic county."
The Danville Register (Danville, Virginia), 14 April 1962.