1000 x 90

Clerk of Court Diane Cornett Deal Faces Republican Challenger Travis Critcher

By Nathan Ham

Democratic incumbent Diane Cornett Deal is seeking a third term as the Watauga County Clerk of Court. Deal was first elected in 2010 and was unopposed in the 2014 election where she earned her second term in office.

This year, Republican Travis Critcher is challenging Deal for the seat.

Diane Cornett Deal

Deal is a lifelong resident of Watauga County. Following graduation from Watauga High School, she began working in the clerk’s office where she worked as an assistant clerk for 30 years under former clerks of court John T. Bingham and Glenn Hodges before winning the clerk of court seat in 2010.

“I was able to learn all of the different areas of the clerk’s office,” Deal said.

Deal has also served on many different committees for the North Carolina Conference of Clerks of Superior Court.

“In that role, I have been able to sit on committees that have dealt with technology issues, financial issues and many different things that have a large effect on how we are able to serve the public,” Deal said. “Throughout the years I have been in this office, I have seen many many changes. We have gone from having absolutely no technology in the court system to having complete technology and eventually we will have a paperless system.”

Travis Critcher

Critcher is also a lifelong resident of Watauga County and is currently the Director of International Field Support for Samaritan’s Purse. He has worked for 20 years helping lead the organizational efforts of Operation Christmas Child. Critcher earned a B.A. in Industrial Management from Appalachian State and holds an Executive Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University and an Executive Certificate in Volunteer Management from Newell and Associates.

Critcher said that one of his big concerns is the lack of people that do not have a will on file.

“Only 42 percent of American adults have a will and that became a concern of mine. In conversation with some of my many friends in the wealth management sector and local attorneys, I begin to be encouraged and was asked to consider running for the office of clerk of court. They felt like my talents and passion were a good fit. After about three months of consideration, prayer and a lot of conversation, I made a decision that this office was one that matched my talent set and passion,” he said. “As your next elected clerk of court, I’ll be impartial, I’ll be positive and I’ll be proactive.”

District Attorney Seth Banks was also at the candidate’s forum on Tuesday. He is running unopposed in the 2018 general election. Banks is the District Attorney for District 35, which represents Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, Yancey and Madison counties.

Seth Banks

“It is my great privilege to walk into courtrooms across this district day in and day out and be the voice of people across this district in all the county seats of this district,” Banks said. “It is also my great privilege to work with one of the best staffs of any district attorney in the state of North Carolina. My folks, both attorneys and legal assistants, bring a passion to their workday in and day out that is apparent when folks interact with them both in the courtroom and in the office.”

Video of each introduction from Deal, Critcher and Banks during Tuesday’s Meet the Candidates Forum can be found below.