About 50 Milton voters participated in a town convention, and a majority chose a new candidate over Milton’s current clerk-treasurer for another term.

Because two Republicans filed to run for clerk-treasurer and six Republicans filed for five at-large council seats to be on Milton’s ballot in the fall election, state law required the party conduct a convention beforehand.

Milton’s Republican voters were eligible to cast ballots during an evening convention Aug. 21 at town hall. 

“It was good to see a good crowd and people who were interested in it,” said Wayne County Republican Chair Gary Saunders, who noted the convention went smoothly.

Wayne County GOP leaders consulted a list of registered Milton voters from the county clerk’s office to verify the eligibility of those present and distributed copies of the four pages of rules before voting took place.

Voters cast paper ballots, placing them in a small trash can instead of a traditional ballot box, before they were counted.

Saunders said Milton resident Cathy Vandivier served as chair of the convention and Donna Powell was secretary.

Although population numbers constantly change, U.S. Census 2020 data shows Milton’s total population at 455, and just more than 78%, or 356, of those residents are 18 and older.

The voters chose challenger Amy Suzanne Smith over incumbent clerk Terry Craig. On the Friday before the convention, Wayne County Election Board members voted to allow Smith to run in the convention, tossing out a challenge to her candidacy that was related to her prior voting record.

However, when voters chose five of the six GOP candidates for town council, they kept all four current Republicans who filed to run again and added one of two challengers.   

The November ballot will include GOP council incumbents Phillip Edwards, John Noland, Hugh Payne Jr. and Segdrick Satterfield, along with Dwight Smith. Joy May did not advance.

The five Republican council candidates will face one Democrat, Larry Joe Harris, in the fall. The current Democrat on council, Robert Simon, did not file to run again.

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A version of this article appeared in the August 30 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.