BURGAW — Nearly four months after the resignation of Lily Stainback, Pender County’s election director at the time, the county has announced the hiring of Burgaw native Susan Williams to lead the county’s board of elections office.
Williams officially began her role on June 17. Pender County spokesperson Tammy Proctor said she delayed the announcement, citing how busy Williams has been in her new role.
Thursday morning’s announcement comes before Friday’s deadline for all candidates running in November’s municipal elections to file their candidacies.
“We are busy right now,” Williams said, according to a release. “Candidates are filing now for office.”
Williams’ election experience includes roles as an assistant, precinct judge, and chief judge overseeing all precincts in neighboring Duplin County. She also served as an election specialist and director of the county’s board of elections.
“Mrs. Williams is responsible to ensure every eligible voter in Pender County gets to exercise their right to participate in our local, state, and federal elections,” Pender County Manager Randell Woodruff said.
Williams said the board of elections office will be busy with local races before shifting focus to upcoming federal races. She said her office needs precinct elections officials to ensure every precinct has back-ups for smooth operations.
On Thursday morning the county’s website still listed Stainback as director of the board of elections. She submitted her resignation at a meeting on March 26, less than seven months on the job, citing personal reasons for her departure.
Last year Stainback was hired after Dennis Boyles, who had spent the previous 16 years as elections director, resigned from a system he said had become overly political in nature.
After Stainback’s resignation in March, Linda LaVere, deputy director of the board of elections office, said her office had published a job posting on the county’s website and was looking to fill the position within the next several weeks. She said an experienced candidate was important but, in the meantime, her staff was able to adequately perform its duties.
“We are capable of running the upcoming county-wide elections with the staff we have,” LaVere said at the time.
A job posting published in late March said the position includes functions that will be crucial as candidates prepare for their elections bids, including the handling of notices of candidacy and related campaign finance reports.