Filing begins

Published 5:17 pm Friday, December 8, 2023

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With the primary election just a few months away, candidates are already gearing up to campaign for votes. The first step, however, is to officially submit their names to be included on the ballot.

Candidate filing opened on Dec. 4 and will continue until noon on Friday, Dec. 15.

Those filing for local races, state senator, and state house of representatives will do so at their county board of elections office. Candidates for other federal, state, and judicial offices must register with the State Board of Elections in Raleigh.

Unless otherwise specified, all candidates much be registered to vote in the state, qualified to vote in an election for the office sought, and 21 years old by the date of the general election. No person may file for more than one office for any one election.

In Bertie County, candidates who have filed so far for local races include Nicole Outlaw (Commissioner, District 1), Vivian B. Saunders (Commissioner, District 4), and Annie F. Wilson (incumbent, Register of Deeds). All are registered Democrats.

Bertie County is also included in the NC House of Representatives District 23. Incumbent Shelly Willingham (Democrat) has filed for another chance to serve again. The other candidates in the race so far also include Abbie Lane (Democrat) and Brent Roberson (Republican).

Elections in Gates County will include County Commissioner seats, the Register of Deeds, and School Board seats.

Gates County candidates who have filed so far include Linda Hofler (incumbent, Commissioner, Hobbsville District), Althea Riddick (incumbent, Commissioner, Sunbury District), Dave Forsythe (Commissioner, Sunbury District), and Mary Cathy Horton (incumbent, Register of Deeds).

All are registered Democrat except for Forsythe, who is a Republican.

There are two seats available on the Gates County Board of Education, which is a nonpartisan race. Candidates for those seats include Jonathan Jones (District 2), Ray Felton (incumbent, District 2), and Amanda J. Heimbecker (incumbent, District 4).

Gates County and Hertford County are both included in NC House of Representatives District 5. The sole candidate in that race currently is incumbent Bill Ward, a Republican.

Hertford County’s local races will include three county commissioner seats along with the Register of Deeds.

Candidates who have filed for Hertford County races include Carnissa Vann Melton (Commissioner, District 1), John D. Horton (incumbent, Commissioner, District 1), James (BJ) Futrell, Jr. (Commissioner, District 1), Ronald J. Gatling (incumbent, Commissioner, District 2), and William (Bill) Mitchell, Jr. (incumbent, Commissioner, District 3). All are registered Democrats.

No one has filed yet for the county’s Register of Deeds.

In Northampton County, candidates who have filed for local races so far include Charles R. Tyner, Sr. (incumbent, Commissioner, District 1), Keedra Whitaker (Commissioner, District 2), Geneva Riddick-Faulkner (incumbent, District 2), and Robin Phillips Williams (incumbent Register of Deeds).

All are registered Democrats.

Northampton County voters will also elect candidates for four Board of Education seats, a nonpartisan race.

Candidates who have filed so far include Barbara A. Stephenson, Theresa Cade, Clinton McCray Williams, and Tony Burnette. All are incumbents.

Northampton County is included in NC House of Representatives District 27. Democrat incumbent Michael Wray is currently the only candidate in that race.

All four counties of the Roanoke-Chowan area are included in NC Senate District 1. Republican incumbent Bobby Hanig is currently the only candidate in that race.

Voters in Bertie, Hertford, and Northampton counties will also have a chance to vote for District Court Judge District 7 (Seats 1-4). Candidates who have filed for those seats so far include W. Rob Lewis II (Seat 1), Teresa Raquel Robinson Freeman (Seat 2), Takiya Lewis Blalock (Seat 3), Thomas Earl Dixon (Seat 3), Assata Kimbrough Buffaloe (Seat 4), and Jamal Summey (Seat 4). All are registered Democrats.

Gates County is included in District Court Judge District 1. Seats 4 and 5 are up for grabs, and candidates who have filed include Edgar L. Barnes (Seat 4) and Amber Davis Malarney (Seat 5). Both are Republicans.

All four Roanoke-Chowan counties are included in the US House of Representatives District 1. Candidates who have filed for that race include Sandy Smith and Laurie Buckhout, both Republicans.

A number of statewide races will also be included on the primary ballot. Those elections include Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, State Auditor, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Labor, Secretary of State, Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Treasurer, NC Supreme Court Associate Justice (seat 6), and NC Court of Appeals Judge (seats 12, 14, 15).

Candidates who have filed for Governor so far include Chrelle Booker, Michael R. (Mike) Morgan, and Marcus W. Williams, all Democrats, as well as Republican Dale R. Folwell.

Lt. Governor candidates include Democrats Ben Clark and Rachel Hunt, as well as Republicans Rivera Douthit, Deanna Ballard, and Jeffrey Elmore.

Once filed, the deadline to withdraw a notice of candidacy is Dec. 12.

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, March 5. Voters will choose which candidates will be the party nominees for the general election in November 2024.