Candidate filing closed

Published 5:35 pm Friday, December 20, 2019

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After three weeks, candidate filing for next year’s election is finally closed. Some candidates will see smooth sailing to the general election in November without any challengers, while others will first have to make it through the primary election in March, to include incumbent commissioners facing challengers in Bertie, Hertford, and Northampton counties.

In Bertie County, Commissioner Ronald (Ron) Wesson, the Democrat incumbent from Windsor, has filed to reclaim his District 1 seat on the Board. He will face off against Pamela Chamblee of Windsor in the primary election.

No one filed for the District 4 commissioner seat currently held by John Trent.

Annie F. Wilson, the incumbent Democrat from Windsor, was the only candidate who submitted her name in the Register of Deeds race.


In Gates County, a race has developed for one of the two seats on the Board of Education. Amanda J. Pacitto and Carl Cox, both of Sunbury, submitted their names for the District 4 seat, which is currently held by Claire Whitehurst.

Incumbent Ray Felton of Eure filed for reelection to his District 2 seat and will be unchallenged to retain his seat on the county’s Board of Education.

Democrat incumbent Linda Hofler from Sunbury filed for another term on the Board of Commissioners in District 5. The other commissioner candidate, Democrat Althea A. Riddick of Gatesville, submitted her name for the District 4 seat, which was held by Henry Jordan, who sadly passed away Friday morning.

Eure Democrat M. Cathy Horton, the incumbent Register of Deeds, is also unchallenged for another term in the position.

Voters in Hertford County will choose three County Commissioners and the Register of Deeds. Several familiar faces have filed for all those seats.

Democrat incumbents John D. Horton, Ronald J. Gatling, and William (Bill) Mitchell, Jr. all filed to reclaim their seats on the Board of Commissioners. Neither Gatling in the District 2 seat nor Mitchell in the District 3 seat will face any opposition in the election.

In District 1, however, Horton will face Democrat challenger Tim Wadsworth in the primary.

In the Register of Deeds race, Democrat incumbent Melanie Storey of Murfreesboro is the sole candidate.

Races in Northampton County have a mix of incumbents and newcomers hoping to secure seats on the Board of Commissioners and Board of Education as well as the Register of Deeds.

Nine candidates submitted their names to fill four seats up for grabs on the Board of Education. Those candidates include incumbents Keedra Whitaker of Rich Square, Richie Harding of Pleasant Hill, and Clinton McCray Williams of Garysburg.

Lloyd Pitman, the other incumbent currently serving on the Board of Education, did not file for reelection.

Other candidates in the Board of Education race include Tony Burnette of Jackson, Theresa Scott of Conway, Josephine Tyner Dunn of Murfreesboro, Sondra Goffington Dickens of Jackson, Barbara A. Stephenson of Conway, and Patrice Robinson Jordan of Rich Square.

Both Democrat incumbents on the Board of Commissioners filed to secure another term. Charles R. Tyner, Sr. of Murfreesboro filed for reelection to the District 1 seat, and will face Marcenda Rogers of Conway in the primary. Incumbent Geneva Riddick-Faulkner of Rich Square filed for District 2 again. She will be challenged for the seat by Tim Hollowell of Woodland.

The Northampton Register of Deeds race, like others in the Roanoke-Chowan area, has only one candidate seeking the position. Incumbent Robin Phillips Williams, a Democrat from Seaboard, filed for reelection.

In addition to the county races, voters will also see names on the ballot for several district, state, and federal races.

Several candidates filed for district judge races. Gates County is included in judicial District 1 while Bertie, Hertford, and Northampton are in District 6.

Two candidates filed for NC Court Judge District 1. Republican Edgar L. Barnes filed for Seat 4 while Democrat Amber Davis Malarney filed for Seat 5.

In NC Court District 6, candidates for judges include Brenda Green Branch (Seat 1), Teresa Raquel Robinson Freeman (Seat 2), and W. Turner Stephenson III (Seat 4). For Seat 3, incumbent Vershenia Ballance Moody will face off in the primary against Jamal Summey. All of the District 6 judge candidates are Democrats.

Democrat incumbent judge Cy Grant has also filed for reelection to Seat 1 on the NC Superior Court District 6B.

Several candidates filed for NC House of Representatives races in the Roanoke-Chowan area.

In NC House District 5, which covers Hertford and Gates counties, Democrat incumbent Howard J. Hunter III will face off against Keith Rivers in the primary. Republican candidate Donald Kirkland has also filed for the seat.

Northampton County is included in NC House District 27 where three candidates have filed to run for the seat. Democrat incumbent Michael H. Wray will be challenged by Jerry McDaniel and Kelby Hicks in the primary. Republican candidate Warren Scott Nail has also filed to enter the race.

Two have filed for NC House District 1, which includes Bertie County – Republican incumbent Edward C. Goodwin and Emily Bunch Nicholson, a Democrat. Both are from Edenton.

Two NC Senate districts cover the Roanoke-Chowan area. Hertford and Gates are included in District 1, and Bertie and Northampton are represented in District 3.

Republican incumbent Bob Steinburg of Edenton and Democratic challenger Tess Judge of Kitty Hawk filed for the District 1 NC Senate seat.

In NC Senate District 3, one candidate from each party filed for open seat. Republican Thomas S. Hester, Jr. filed as well as Democrat Ernestine (Byrd) Bazemore, who is currently serving a term on the Bertie County Board of Commissioners.

The District 3 senate seat is currently held by Erica D. Smith, but she has chosen to file for the US Senate seat instead. Other Democrat candidates in the US Senate primary include Trevor M. Fuller, Steve Swenson, Cal Cunningham, and Atul Goel.

Republican incumbent Thom Tillis also filed for a chance to reclaim his US Senate seat again, and he will face Paul Wright, Sharon Hudson, and Larry Holmquist in the primary.

Shannon W. Bray, a Libertarian candidate, has also entered the race for US Senate, as well as Kevin E. Hayes from the Constitution Party.

Roanoke-Chowan area voters will also see the race for US House of Representatives District 1 on the upcoming ballot.

The candidates who submitted their names for that race are Democrat incumbent G.K. Butterfield and Republicans Ethan Baca, Sandy Smith, Jim Glisson, and Michele Nix.

In the race for Governor, Democrat Roy Cooper is seeking a second term in the position and will face Ernest T. Reeves in the Primary. The two Republicans who also filed for the seat are Holly Grange and Dan Forest, who is currently serving a term at the state’s Lieutenant Governor. Constitution Party candidate Al Pisano also entered his name into the race, as well as Libertarian candidate Steven J. DiFiore.

Without Forest trying to reclaim his current seat, a multitude of Republican and Democrat candidates have entered their name into the Lt. Governor race.

Democrat candidates for Lt. Governor include Bill Toole, Terry Van Duyn, Yvonne Lewis Holley, Chaz Beasley, Allen Thomas, and Rob Newton. Republican candidates include Mark Robinson, Deborah Cochran, Andy Wells, Greg Gebhardt, Renee Ellmers, Scott Stone, Buddy Bengel, John L. Ritter, and Mark Johnson.

Johnson is currently serving as North Carolina’s Superintendent for Public Instruction.

A number of candidates have filed for the chance to take Johnson’s place as the State Superintendent. Democrat candidates include James Barrett, Constance (Lav) Johnson, Jen Mangrum, Michael Maher, Keith A. Sutton. Republican challengers include Craig Horn and Catherine Truitt.

In the race for NC Commissioner of Agriculture, Republican Steve Troxler filed for reelection again. Three Democrats also submitted their names for the position. They are Donovan Alexander Watson, Jenna Wadsworth, and Walter Smith.

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. If there is no clear party nominee in certain contests following the partisan primary election, there may be a second primary for that contest, either on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 (if no contest for federal office in the state requires a second primary), or Tuesday, May 12, 2020 (if one or more contests for federal office in the state requires a second primary).

The date of the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.