LAURINBURG — The Scotland County Civic League has endorsed Matthew Block for Laurinburg mayor and Councilman Curtis Leak for the Laurinburg District 1 seat.
The endorsements came after the Civic League hosted a two-hour forum with all four candidates. Each of those running had an opportunity to make an opening statement before taking questions from a panel that included Scotland County NAACP President Herman Tyson; Scotland County Ministerial Alliance President Elizabeth Anderson; and Mary Evans of WEWO Radio.
The forum was also open to questions from the 70 people in attendance.
Civic League President Darrel Gibson, who moderated the forum, said the Civic League’s endorsements were based on the answers given Sunday as well as previous actions, decisions and statements.
Gibson said the group was supporting candidates that “share common interests as our organization.”
Block, a former Laurinburg mayor, said on Wednesday that he welcomed the group’s endorsement.
“I’m very happy that the Civic League after watching Sunday’s debate decided to endorse my campaign,” Block said. “I think they feel my campaign represents things that their members think are important and are interested in. I’m gratified to know that they are behind me.”
Block said his campaign has talked about the need for more recreational opportunities in the city, including the creation of recreation center.
“I stressed things like a centrally located recreation center and lower utility bills,” Block said. “I think they felt I represented those interests better than my opponent.”
This is the second time Block and Parker have challenged each other for mayor. Block, a cardiologist, was defeated by Parker in the 2011 election. Parker is the owner of Parker Furniture.
Leak could not be reached for comment.
A retired teacher, Leak has represented District 1 on the Laurinburg City Council for 27 years. Altson is a Laurinburg native and pastor of Restorehouse Ministries.
District 2 representative Mary Jo Adams is unopposed.