Mayor Block exploring run for county board

By: By Scott Witten -

LAURINBURG — Laurinburg Mayor Matthew Block may take a run next year at being a county commissioner, according to a form filed with the Scotland County Board of Elections.

Block filed a statement of organization with the county elections office for a Stewartsville seat on the Scotland County Board of Commissioners. His term as Laurinburg mayor ends in December 2019.

The filing allows candidates to begin raising money for a possible campaign, according to Dell Parker, Scotland County Board of Elections director.

“Once someone makes a public comment on Facebook or anywhere else about running, they have to come in and file organizational forms,” Parker said.

Block, a Democrat, has been openly critical of members of the county board, saying they have often “manipulated, misled and blatantly ignored” the will of the people.

Block was first elected mayor in 2008 and lost a re-election bid to council member Tommy Parkerfour years later. In a rematch in 2015, Block beat Parker with 60 percent of the ballots cast.

If elected in 2018, Block would be required to give up his seat as mayor, leaving the Laurinburg City Council to appoint an interim mayor until the 2019 elections.

A heart specialist in practice at Scotland Cardiology, he has been a Laurinburg resident since 2001.

David Norris, a Republican from Laurinburg, has also filed a state of organizational form for one of the two Stewartsville seats up for re-election next year.

On his campaign website, Norris said if elected, he will “set realistic and attainable goals” for the county.

“I am a capable, honest, hard working and results-oriented individual and I will roll up my sleeves and go to work for you,” Norris said.

The Stewartsville Townships seats up for re-election are held by incumbents Commissioners Carol McCall and Guy McCook. Commissioner Betty Blue Gholston of the Spring Hill District will also have to run next year.

Also filing state of organizational forms so far are Republican incumbent Ralph Kersey for Scotland County Sheriff and his challenger John Martin, a Democrat.

Jacob Pate of Gibson has opened his committee for the Scotland County Board of Education. Pate is running to take one of the at-large seats open, currently held by school board members Summer Woodside and Jamie Sutherland.

Filing for next year’s elections will begin on Feb. 12 at noon and will remain open until noon on Feb. 28.


By Scott Witten

Reach Scott Witten at 910-506-3023. Reporter Nolan Gilmour contributed to this article.

Reach Scott Witten at 910-506-3023. Reporter Nolan Gilmour contributed to this article.