By Peter Vankevich

The Hyde County Board of County Commissioners will have two new representatives following the mid-term election Tuesday.

James (Little Brother) Topping

James (Little Brother) Topping (Democrat) survived a write-in challenge by Chris Williams, winning 889 to 804 for the Swan Quarter Township.

Michael (Shannon) Swindell, Unaffiliated, easily won the Currituck Township, 1,295 to 486, beating Republican Ken Collier. All numbers here are complete but unofficial until formally certified, and there will be some changes due to absentee and provisional ballots not yet tallied. 

I’m humbled and honored to be able to serve as county commissioner,” said Swindell this morning.  He cited several areas that he is interested in, including education and the environmental challenges facing Lake Mattamuskeet. He affirmed his opposition to offshore drilling and is in favor of keeping the Hatteras ferry toll-free. 

Topping defeated Joey Williams in the May Democratic primary by 12 votes.  Subsequently, Chris Williams, brother of Joey, filed to run as a write-in candidate.  He is the owner of Chris’s Grocery Store, along Route 264, in Swan Quarter. Williams carried the Swan Quarter Township, 106 to 52. Topping captured 184 of the Ocracoke Township votes to 84 for Williams.

The region will continue to be represented in the General Assembly by Republicans who have the majority in both Houses.  Bob Steinburg defeated D. Cole Phelps 39,554 to 34,729 for Senate District 1, and Bobby Hanig beat Democrat Tess Judge 18,437 to 15,045 for House District 6.

Shannon Swindell

Both Judge and Phelps, who campaigned on the island, captured 70 per cent of the vote on Ocracoke, neither of the winners visited the island during the election season. 

Ocracoke had a good turnout for voting. According to Viola Williams, Hyde County’s election director, of the 821 total registered voters, 161 turned out for the  two-day one-stop voting and 299 yesterday (Nov. 6). The final tally for all Ocracoke and Hyde County voting statistics will be available within 30 days.


Bob Steinburg

Steinburg, of Edenton, has been the House District 1 representative since 2014.  Ed Goodwin (Republican), a former N.C. Ferry Division director, will take Steinburg’s House seat, having defeated Democrat Ron Wesson.

Hanig, in his first term on the Currituck County Board of Commissioners, who is its chairman, had beat incumbent Beverly Boswell in a highly contentious Republican primary in May.

Hyde County Sheriff Guire Cahoon, seeking his first re-election, easily beat challenger Larry Weston, 1,533 to 364. This was a rematch from four years ago that had similar results.

Bobby Hanig

Following much of the state, Hyde County voters approved four of the six constitutional amendment proposals and voted against the amendment to control judicial appointments and the amendment to establish an eight-member Bipartisan Board of Ethics and Elections Enforcement to administer ethics and elections law. These last two amendments were defeated state-wide, the others were approved.

There will be a change on the Hyde County Board of Education. Lindsey Mooney defeated incumbent Myra Chandler for one of the At-large seats. Aleta Cox was re-elected for the same position.  Ocracoke Islander Angela Todd, who was unopposed, retained her seat.

To see the unofficial election results for Hyde County only, click here 

To view the unofficial election results for all of North Carolina, click here



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  1. As was once profoundly noted, “democracy is the worst system, except for all the others.”
    Now, let’s elect our cardiologists, neurosurgeons or psychiatrists, with minimal biographical details to guide us.

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