A guide to voting in the upcoming Durham primary elections

Durham County primary elections for board of commissioners, board of education and register of deeds will be held on March 5, ahead of the general elections on Nov. 5.

Durham County Board of Commissioners

There are 11 candidates on the ballot for Durham County Board of Commissioners for the primary elections.

Four incumbents, Nida Allam, Nimasheena Burns, Brenda Howerton and Wendy Jacobs, are seeking reelection. Howerton has been a member of the board since 2008, Jacobs assumed the role in 2012 and Allam and Burns have been in office since 2020.

Michelle Burton, Fredrick Davis, Michael Lee, Jovonia Lewis, Daryl Payton, Stephen J. Valentine and Renee Vaughan are also on the ballot for the five open seats.

Durham County Board of Education

The board has seen its share of controversy over the past months. Weeks of walkouts, protests, school closures, staff sickouts and contentious board meetings followed after the DPS revoked recently implemented raises in January, and the board later released a report detailing extensive internal miscommunication and fiscal irresponsibility leading to the salary dispute affecting at least 1,300 Durham Public Schools classified workers. 

Two Democratic candidates, Atrayus Goode and Joy Harrell, are on the March ballot for an at-large seat on the Durham County Board of Education. 

Harrell plans to create safe and healthy learning spaces, create a sense of interdependence centering around students, communities and educators and invest in student learning.

Goode serves as president and CEO of Youth Mentoring Collaborative. Alexandra Valladares, who currently serves on the board, endorsed his campaign on her Facebook page, stating that “his advocacy for student wellness and mental health is a critical aspect of his platform.”

Goode is facing a decade-old sexual assault allegation, which he rebutted in a statement to Indy Week. Despite these claims, Goode remains in the race.

Four seats on the Board of Education are up for election, all with uncontested races. Jessica Carda-Auten is seeking reelection to keep her seat in District 3, Millicent Rogers is running for reelection in District B and Wendell Tabb is running uncontested for District A.

Register of Deeds

Sharon Davis, the current Durham County register of deeds and a Democrat, is the sole candidate registered in the 2024 race. She has held the position since 2016.

The March 5 primary election for the register of deeds was canceled because Davis is the only registered candidate. She was also the only registered candidate in 2020.

Holly Keegan profile
Holly Keegan | University News Editor

Holly Keegan is a Trinity sophomore and a university news editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.

Michelle Brown profile
Michelle Brown | Associate News Editor

Michelle Brown is a Trinity sophomore and an associate news editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.


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