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Candidate filings to restart on Feb. 24

DOBSON — After being halted more than a month ago, officials have announced that the candidates’ filing period for local, state and federal offices can resume in February.

The filing process originally had started on Dec. 6, only to be suspended two days later by the N.C. Supreme Court in response to ongoing lawsuits challenging newly drawn boundaries for legislative districts which alleged partisan gerrymandering.

Surry County Director of Elections Michella Huff says that with this matter now resolved, the machinery of democracy can resume.

The Surry Board of Elections received word Tuesday night that a final judgement had been issued by Wake County Superior Court in consolidated redistricting cases, Huff explained. The court upheld challenged maps for U.S. House of Representatives, N.C. Senate and N.C. House seats.

Huff also announced that the court had granted a request by the state Board of Elections to restart candidate filing.

This is to begin at 8 a.m. on Feb. 24 and end at noon on March 4.

“Surry County Board of Elections staff will immediately begin preparing for the continuation of the candidate filing period,” Huff added.

While indicating that interested persons should make preparations to conduct filing during the period specified, Huff said the N.C. Supreme Court could modify the filing dates if it determines this to be necessary.

There is also a loose thread concerning a separate court order on Tuesday, Huff related. It suspended the consideration of any challenges to candidates for U.S. House, N.C. House and N.C. Senate, until final resolution of the litigation in the redistricting cases known as North Carolina League of Conservation Voters v. Hall.

As part of the suspension repercussions, a primary election initially scheduled for March 8 was moved to May 17.

Candidates in limbo

The Surry County Board of Elections announced in December that candidates whose filings had already been accepted by the board “will be deemed to have filed for the same office” for purposes of the May primary.

Those who might want to withdraw from a race also have the ability to do so during the new filing period.

Meanwhile, the early tossers of hats into the ring have been forced to take a wait-and-see approach to see how their campaigns will shape up under the new filing schedule.

They include office seekers for positions at stake in 2022 in these jurisdictions:

Mount Airy

• Candidates for mayor so far in the city — where municipal elections are non-partisan — include incumbent Ron Niland, Commissioner Jon Cawley and Teresa Lewis, a former commissioner.

• Two persons filed in December to run for Cawley’s North Ward seat on the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners which has come open due to his mayoral candidacy, Will Pfitzner and Joanna Refvem.

But Pfitzner said afterward he would withdraw from the race due to being unaware that a respected family friend, Refvem, also was seeking that office, who he believes would do a better job. Presumably this will occur after the filing — or unfiling — period opens next month.

• No one has filed for the city’s at-large commissioner seat now held by Joe Zalescik, or a South District seat long occupied by Commissioner Steve Yokeley.

• Only one person has filed for one of three affected slots on the Mount Airy Board of Education, incumbent Tim Matthews seeking re-election to his at-large seat as a Democrat.

The District A and District B seats on the city school board also are involved in this year’s election cycle.

Surry County

• Among county government offices at stake this year, Walter D. Harris has filed to run for a Mount Airy District seat on the Surry Board of Commissioners now held by first-term incumbent and fellow Republican Bill Goins, who has not filed.

• No one has signed on to run for the Central District seat on the county board, now held by the GOP’s Mark Marion.

• Eddie Harris filed last month for re-election to his South District seat on the county board in a race that so far also includes fellow Republican Tessa Saeli of Elkin.

• Republican Sheriff Steve Hiatt has filed to run for a second term.

• District Attorney Tim Watson, a Republican, is seeking his first four-year term after being appointed to that office last year when longtime prosecutor Ricky Bowman retired.

• Four people are vying so far for three local District Court judge seats, including incumbents Marion Boone and Thomas Langan; Gretchen Kirkman, a former judge; and Mark Miller. All are on the GOP ticket.

• Surry clerk of court candidates filing in December include another trio of Republicans, first-term incumbent Neil Brendle; Teresa O’Dell, whom he unseated in 2018; and Melissa Marion Welch.

• The field for the District 2 seat on the Surry Board of Education so far includes Democratic incumbent Mamie M. Sutphin and Republicans Tony L. Hutchens and Brent Long.

Two other county school board seats also are up for grabs this year, including in District 3 where Jessica George was the only candidate to file in December, with T.J. Bledsoe having that same distinction in District 4. Both are GOP members.

State offices

Those in the field so far for state legislative seats encompassing Surry County include six Republicans.

• Incumbent Sarah Stevens of Mount Airy is vying to retain her 90th District seat in the N.C. House of Representatives , which she was first elected to in 2008.

One challenger to Stevens has emerged thus far, Benjamin Romans of Roaring River.

• Four people filed in December for the 36th District state Senate seat: Shirley Randleman of Wilkesboro, who formerly represented Surry County; Eddie Settle of Elkin; Vann Tate, a retired member of the N.C. Highway Patrol who is a Mount Airy resident; and Lee Zachary of Yadkinville.

Candidates for N.C. House and N.C. Senate races file at their county boards of elections.

Those seeking federal offices such as seats in Congress complete their filings at the state Board of Elections in Raleigh.

Source


Source: https://www.mtairynews.com

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