Election season officially opens as filing gets under way

By on February 11, 2018

The 2018 election season formally begins Monday at noon as candidates can begin filing to run in the May primaries for most elected offices in North Carolina.

Up for election this year are seats on county Board of Commissioners, Board of Education, Sheriff, Clerk of Court and Register of Deeds.

Beginning this year, Dare County school board candidates have to run for party nominations after the N.C. General Assembly eliminated the Dare Board of Education’s non-partisan status last year.

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Also opening Monday will be filing for seats in the North Carolina General Assembly with newly redrawn districts, and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Those running for judgeships in the District and Superior courts, the N.C. Court of Appeals and Supreme Court will have to wait until June to file, following legal challenges to the legislature’s attempts to rework how judges are chosen in North Carolina.

The regular filing period ends at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 28. The party primary elections are May 8 and the General Llection is Nov. 6.

 Jack Shea

Commissioner Jack Shea plans to retire.

Dare County
Up for election on the Dare Board of Commissioners are an at-large seat held by Jack Shea, a District 2 seat held by Rob Ross representing Nags Head, Colington and Kill Devil Hills, and a District 1 seat held by Jim Tobin representing Roanoke Island and the mainland.

Shea told Dare County Republicans at a meeting on Feb. 8 that he will not seek reelection.

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As of Sunday, Republicans Ed Danko and Anne Petera and Democrat Ervin Bateman had already announced their intentions to run for Shea’s seat.

Ross and Tobin were appointed last year to fill out unexpired terms, but have not made formal announcements yet about their plans.

Sheriff Doug Doughtie, a Republican, has announced he will run for another term, while Clerk of Superior Court Dean Tolson and Register of Deeds Vanzolla McMurran have not yet made their intentions known.

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Cheryl House announced Friday her plan to run for the GOP nomination for Register of Deeds.

On the Board of Education, the seats held by Margaret Lawler, Joe Tauber and Charlotte White will be on the ballot.

Jen Alexander of Colington announced her candidacy last month for the District Two seat held by Tauber.

Currituck County
Up for election this year are county commissioners Mike Hall (at-large), Mike Payment (District 3) and Marion Gilbert (District 5); Board of Education members Bill Dobney (at-large), Karen Etheridge (Poplar Branch township) and Janet Rose (Crawford); Sheriff Susan Johnson and Clerk of Court Ray Matusko.

Chief Deputy Matthew Beickert and Bob Dorous of Moyock have already said they will file to run for sheriff, after Johnson indicated she will retire at the end of her current term.

No other active pre-filing campaigns have been initiated in Currituck, but there have been a number of individuals who have said they plan to challenge current commissioners and school board members.

State House and Senate
The area’s legislative districts have been redrawn slightly, with Dare now in the same House District 6 as Currituck, Hyde and Pamlico counties. And the First Senate District has expanded to 11 counties.

State Rep. Bob Steinburg, R-Edenton, currently the First District member of the state House, is going to seek the GOP nomination to state Senate and will be challenged in the primary by Clark Twiddy of Kitty Hawk.

Current Sen. Bill Cook, R-Chocowinity, saw his home county shifted out of the First District and has said he will retire.

Rep. Beverly Boswell will run again.

Incumbent state Rep. Beverly Boswell, R-Kill Devil Hills, announced Saturday she will seek re-election, while no other candidates has stepped forward so far.

Tess Judge announced Monday she will seek the Democratic nomination, setting up a possible November rematch of sorts with Boswell.

Judge was nominated by Democratic leaders to run against Boswell just days before the 2016 election after her husband, Warren, just ahead of the vote.

Filing may be done in person or by mail, with candidates for local offices, including N.C. House and N.C. Senate, signing up at the Board of Elections office in the county of their residence.

Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and district attorney will file at the state board office in Raleigh.

Once a candidate has filed, the deadline to withdraw a notice of candidacy is Friday, Feb. 23.

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