By Tim Gardner
Filing ended on February 28 at 12:00 noon for the May primary elections for county, state and national offices in which Avery voters will cast ballots.
Seven additional candidates filed this past week, bringing the total to 27 candidates who are seeking elected public offices.
Avery County offices open this year include: Commissioner, Board of Education, Sheriff, Clerk of Court and Soil and Water Supervisor. There are three seats open on the County Commission. The two candidates with the most votes will serve four-year terms, while the candidate with the third most votes will serve a two-year term. Two seats are open on the Board of Education. The winners for Sheriff, Clerk of Court, Board of Education and Soil and Water will all serve four-year terms.
Candidates who have filed for county offices include: incumbent Lisa Daniels for Clerk of Court; incumbent Kevin Frye and Jason Lolies for Sheriff; and incumbents Blake Vance and Wood Hall (Woody) Young, Jr., along with Gerald McKinney, Sam Laws, Clayton Harpold, Rose Trivett Gates, Jonathan Sheppard, Dennis Aldridge and Dick Crews for County Commissioner.
All are Republicans, except Crews, who is a Democrat.
Incumbent Steve Smith along with Pat Edwards, Katie Lynn Calloway, Frances Magruder and Jane Bumgarner have filed for the non-partisan Board of Education seats.
Edwards and Bumgarner are sisters.
Also, Avery County voters will join those from Watauga, Mitchell, Yancey and Madison counties in electing a District Attorney for their 35th District. That prosecutorial district was recently changed in number from the 24th to the 35th. Avery voters also will join those from Mitchell and McDowell Counties in electing a State Representative (House Member) for the 85th District and from Burke and Caldwell counties in electing a State Senator for the 46th District. The winners of the District Attorney, State Representative and State Senator races will serve four-year terms.
For district offices, Republican incumbent Seth Banks filed for re-election as District Attorney; Republican incumbent Warren Daniel and Democrat Art Sherman for State Senate; and Republican incumbent Josh Dobson and Democrat Howard Larsen for State House.
Incumbent Virginia Foxx, Dillon Gentry, Cortland Meader, Jr., Denise Adams and Jennifer Marshall have filed for United States House (Congress) for North Carolina’s 5th District, which encompasses much of the northwestern portion of the state, including Avery County and stretching East to include a portion of Winston-Salem.
Foxx, Gentry and Meader, Jr. are Republicans. Adams and Marshall are Democrats.
The election primary is on Tuesday, May 8 from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
A voting canvass will be on Friday, May 18.
A candidate of any political party can run for office in a primary. Candidates who win a primary or are unopposed in a primary would then be candidates in the General Election on November 6.
Because the Board of Education race is non-partisan, there will be only one election (the May primary) for its candidates. The Soil & Water Supervisor also is non-partisan and its candidates will only be on the General Election ballot in November. There will be no runoffs in either of those two elections. The top two candidates in votes received in both races will automatically win regardless of how many votes they win by. Filing for Soil & Water Supervisor can be done at the Board of Elections from June 11 at 12:00 noon through July 6 at 12:00 noon.