By Diana McFarland
Newport District Supervisor Buzz Bailey has decided not to run for a second term.
He is the second incumbent to drop out of the race after Smithfield Supervisor Al Casteen decided against seeking a third term.
Bailey blames The Smithfield Times Editor and Publisher John Edwards and his editorial comments about the email scandal two years ago. According to the editorial, Edwards said that Bailey’s candidacy would referendum on racist behavior.
Bailey and former School Board member Herb DeGroft were accused of sending emails about First Lady Michelle Obama in connection with women in tribal dress.
Bailey said he was upset by the editorial and decided he didn’t want to put his family through that again.
“That kids of talking in today’s climate can get you killed, much less running for office,” Bailey said.
Bailey said he gets along well with the other supervisors and supports County Administrator Anne Seward — particularly her budgeting skills.
“Somebody has to be the fall person and blamed for everything,” he said.
Left in the race for the Newport seat is Carrollton preacher William McCarty and long-time community activist Albert Burckard.
Bailey believes Burckard is the most qualified and most likely to bring the issues to the people — particularly the controversial ISLE 2040 plan.
“I was against that from the very beginning,” he said.
With two incumbents dropping out of the race, that leaves only Windsor Supervisor Dee Dee Darden seeking another term. She is being challenged by Carrollton Volunteer Fire Department Chief Joel Acree.
If she loses, the Board could gain three new faces next year.
Candidates for the Smithfield seat are Lawrence Pitt and Dick Grice.
Bailey was elected in 2011 in a three-way race, beating out long-time incumbent Stan Clark by just 131 votes — or just over 50 percent of the vote. The third candidate, Marie Bailey, received only five percent of the vote.