By Jesse Wood
It’s not even Christmas yet, but the Watauga County Board of Elections office – and for that matter, elections offices across the state – squared away the candidate filing period for the 2016 general election.
The three-week filing period ended at noon on Monday.
The way things stand, voters of Republican and Democratic affiliations have plenty to look forward to in the March primary and the November general election – at least in Watauga County.
As far as county races are concerned, those will be decided in November. All three races for the Watauga County Board of Commissioners are contested and feature incumbents.
Democrats Diane Blanks and Larry Turnbow are challenging Republican Commissioners Perry Yates and David Blust. For Turnbow and Blust, this is Round 2 – with Blust defeating Turnbow in 2014. Republican Elizabeth Shukis is challenging Democrat Commissioner John Welch.
The Watauga County School Board races will also be decided in November – with incumbents Ron Henries, Brenda Reese and Barbara Kinsey running for re-election. Steve Combs, who has served three terms in the past before a four-year hiatus, also filed for school board.
Watauga County Register of Deeds Amy Shook is going unchallenged this election season.
The state and federal races are where the primaries become important.
With Sen. Dan Soucek bowing out of the N.C. Senate District 45 race, the Republican coming out of the primary is less certain than it was a week ago. Republicans Deanna Ballard of Blowing Rock and Ken Boham of Lenoir will face off in the primary to see who goes up against Democrat Art Sherwood in the general election.
As for the N.C. House District 93 race, that features primary contests on both the Democrat and Republican ballots. Republican Lew Hendricks is challenging incumbent Republican Jonathan Jordan, and Democrats Sue Counts and Ronnie Marsh also filed for Jordan’s current seat.
For U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx to be elected to another term, she will have to beat fellow Republican Pattie Curran of Kernersville in the primary and then Greg Brannon of Vilas in the general election. Brannon lost to Foxx in 2014.
Watauga Commissioners – District 4
- David Blust, Republican (I)
- Larry Turnbow, Democrat
Watauga Commissioners – District 2
- John Welch (I), D
- Elizabeth Shukis, R
Watauga Commissioners – District 1
- Perry Yates, R (I)
- Diane Blanks, D
Watauga County Board of Education
- Steve Combs
- Ron Henries (I)
- Brenda Reese (I)
- Barbara Kinsey (I)
Watauga County Register of Deeds
- Amy Shook, Republican (Incumbent)
N.C. Senate District 45
- Deanna Ballard, R
- Art Sherwood, D
- Ken Boham, R
N.C. House District 93
- Jonathan Jordan, R (I)
- Lew Hendricks, R
- Sue Counts, D
- Ronnie Marsh, D
NC District Court Judge District 24
- Rebecca Eggers-Gryder
- Josh Teague
- Hal G. Harrisondd
- Ted McEntire
NC Superior Court Judge District 24
- Greg Horne
U.S. House District 5
- Virginia Foxx, R (I)
- Pattie Curran, R
- Josh Brannon
- Paul Wright, R (I)
- Richard Burr, R
- Deborah Ross, D
- Kevin Griffin, D
- Larry Holmquist, R
- Greg Brannon, R
- Chris Rey, D
- Ernest Reeves, D
- Sean Haugh, Libertarian
- Robert Brawley, R
- Pat McCrory, R (I)
- Roy Cooper, D
- Charles Moss, R
- Ken Spaulding, D
- Lon Cecil, Libertarian
NC Attorney General
- Buck Newton, R
- Jim O’Neill, R
- Josh Stein, D
- Marcus Williams, D
Monday, January 25—Absentee Voting begins
Friday, February 19—Voter Registration Deadline
Thursday, March 3—One Stop early voting begins
Tuesday, March 8—Last day to request an Absentee Ballot by mail
Saturday, March 12—One Stop early voting ends at 1pm—
Monday, March 14—UOCAVA Absentee Ballot Request deadline 5pm
Monday, March 14—UOCAVA Voter Registration deadline 5pm
Tuesday, March 15—Election Day—Presidential Preference/Statewide Primary—Polls open at 6:30am and close at 7:30pm.