The citizens of Goldsboro spoke through their votes on Tuesday as key political races were decided in the general election.
Charles Gaylor was elected as Goldsboro’s mayor by defeating Raymond Smith Jr. by a narrow margin. Gaylor received 49.98 percent of the vote while Smith received 49.76 percent of the vote.
Jerome Newton was elected the mayor of Mount Olive by receiving 50.77 percent of the vote, and Steve Wiggins received 48.8 percent of the vote.
Eddie Yelverton collected 55.04 percent of the vote to win the Fremont Mayoral election. Only 14.31 percent of the 41,913 registered voters actually voted.
Gaylor anticipated the Goldsboro Mayoral race to be a tight one.
“I knew it was going to be razor thin,” Gaylor said. “We built out our team in the summer of 2022, and we always knew it was going to be razor thin. Nine votes is a little thinner than we had planned on. As the votes are coming in you’re paying attention to which precincts you believe are going to go your way, and which precinct you expect to go your candidates way.”
Gaylor has served on the Goldsboro City Council representing District 5 since November of 2021, and he is currently the Senior Staff Attorney serving Community Care of North Carolina, Inc. Gaylor is also a former Associate Vice President and Small Business Center Director at Wayne Community College, and a former Associate Engineer at 3TEX, Inc.
Gaylor has served as the Chairman of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce and the Chairman of Literacy Connections of Wayne County.
Gaylor has also served on the boards of the Wayne County affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation, Wayne Preparatory Academy, Goldsboro Area Metropolitan Planning Organization of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Wayne County Bar Association, and the Elon University School of Law Alumni Council.
Gaylor has served on committees representing the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation, North Carolina Bar Association, NC AgVentures, and Wayne Forward.
Gaylor has been recognized by the United States Small Business Administration for meritorious contributions to the development of small businesses in Wayne County.
Gaylor holds a Juris Doctorate from Elon University School of Law, a Master of Business Administration from the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business at Campbell University, and two Bachelor of Science degrees from the Wilson College of Textiles at North Carolina State University.
Having served on the Goldsboro City Council for the past two years, Gaylor is excited to get to work with the newly-elected council members while tackling the most pressing issues facing Goldsboro.
“There were a lot of combinations with the council that could of come to pass that would have been very beneficial for our city,” Gaylor said. “There were some folks that were not successful tonight that we need to continue to serve on various boards and committees to help our city. The folks that the voters chose are an absolutely phenomenal board. It is beautiful in its diversity of race, and background, and diversity of wealth.”
Hiawatha Jones, the current District 1 city councilman, received 58.21 percent of the vote to earn reelection. Jones defeated Yvonnia Moore, who received 40.82 percent of the vote.
“I am so excited to be elected,” Jones said. “It is a great diverse council. I am so honored.”
Chris Boyette garnered 92.69 percent in the District 2 race, while Kal Butt received 6.75 percent of the vote.
Jamie Taylor collected 72.37 percent of the vote to win the District 3 seat. Myelle Thompson earned 26.13 percent of the vote.
“One of the top things on my list is I want to work together to see if we can get the crime rates down, and the number of first responders we have back up to where they should be,” Taylor said. “I want to work with doing something with housing. In my district there are a lot of abandoned properties and I want to see what can do with that. Also, I want to work on homelessness and drug addiction. I’m hoping some non-profits will step up and help us reach the people of Goldsboro.”
In District 4, current council member Brandi Matthews recorded 59.68 percent of the vote. Sadie Baldwin Simmons received 40.14 percent of the vote.
In District 5, Beverly Weeks received 50.40 percent of the vote, while Phyllis Merritt-James finished with 48.92 percent of the vote. Weeks won by 11 votes.
“What came to my mind as far as the narrow margin, well first of all, Phyllis Merritt-James is an incredible woman of God,” Weeks said. “I honestly was expecting this race to be somewhat tight. It goes to show every voice and every vote matters. I am just excited. I grew up here and I can’t wait to serve District 5.”
Weeks is eager to prioritize first responders and prioritizing safety in Goldsboro.
“One thing I want to be intentional about is not just talking the talk but walking the walk,” Weeks said. “The stipend that we get as councilman for representing the city, I want to donate that to programs, training, and resources for first responders. I want them to know they are definitely a priority.
I want to visit with them and hear their hearts and listen to their concerns.”
In District 6, Roderick White received 55.93 percent of the vote, while Steve Taylor got 43.97 percent of the vote.
For a full list of Wayne County election results, visit the Wayne County Board of Elections website.