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Knight re-elected to fifth term on council

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Rocky Mount Councilman Andre Knight, left, who won reelection in Ward 1, greets Hiawatha Knight on Tuesday during a party at Blanche's Bistro in downtown Rocky Mount.

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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

In a hard-fought contest for the Ward 1 seat on the Rocky Mount City Council, 16-year incumbent Andre Knight on Tuesday was re-elected to a four-year term, defeating challenger Tarrick Pittman by 168 votes.

Unofficial results showed Knight with 748 votes, or slightly more than 56.1 percent, and Pittman with 580 votes, or slightly more than 43.5 percent. Five people cast write-in votes.

Knight, when reached by the Telegram, said, “I am very thankful, first to God, and to my family and all my supporters who believed in me and who voted for me.

“And I will not fail them and I’m going to continue to work with the council to continue our agenda, which is affordable housing, economic development and downtown development,” Knight said.

Additionally, Knight, referring to candidate for mayor Sandy Roberson, said, “We were up against a money machine, a candidate that spent over $300,000, but we were able to overcome it.

“And I’m going to continue to run on my record and I think people have seen the work that we have done and we continue to do,” Knight said.

Knight said of his victory in Ward 1 that “I do feel some relief, but now we’re in a runoff with the mayor’s race. And that’s where I believe in Rocky Mount and that we will do the thing for the right candidate.”

Knight endorsed the second-place finisher in the contest for mayor, Bronson Williams. Knight made clear he will put all his efforts into helping Williams win the runoff, which will be on Nov. 5.

Knight made no secret of his opinion of Roberson late in the municipal election campaign. During a Sept. 26 news conference of civil rights leaders and community activists at the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial, Knight called Roberson “Sandy Claus.”

Knight at the time said of Roberson, “We have one candidate here in Rocky Mount who has spent over $200,000 thus far — and the election is not over. He doesn’t look like us, but he pretends to be Sandy Claus, but has showed up in the ninth hour, with bags of tricks and money, sowing discord, seeds of discord, evil and trying to divide the African-American community — and even trying to pimp our children with gift bags, T-shirts.”

Roberson later told the Telegram, “All I’ve heard are just allegations of buying votes. The truth is something completely different. I am here to represent all of Rocky Mount, both Nash and Edgecombe counties.”

Knight is chairman of the board of the Opportunities Industrialization Center and the local leader of the NAACP.

Pittman owns CoolGeeks, which is a computer repair company. Pittman also has been active in downtown matters via the Central City Revitalization Panel.

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