Thursday, June 13, 2024

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Flurry of filings sets up lineups for 2024, including GOP primary for county commissioner race

If things had been relatively quiet at the Alamance County Board of Elections during the past nine days, that changed markedly on Friday morning, during the last hours for filing for office. Filing ended at noon.

For instance, on Monday, there were no candidates who had filed for school board; by Wednesday, that number had grown to three – for the four available seats on the nonpartisan board.  By Friday noon, it had swelled to eight.


General Assembly races

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Republican state legislators also got last-minute competition from the Democrats, with Robin Wintringham, who was an unsuccessful candidate for Burlington city council earlier this fall, filing as a Democrat to challenge Republican state representative Steve Ross in state house district 63.

In district 64, Republican state representative Dennis Riddell picked up a challenger in the form of LaVon Barnes from Mebane;

Two primaries emerged from the flurry of last-minute filings.

Democrats will have a primary for the opportunity to challenge incumbent Republican state senator Amy Galey.  John Coleman , 817 Kenwood Drive, Burlington, filed Thursday; he will face Donna Vanhook, 317 Caswell Street, Burlington, who had filed Monday.


GOP primary for county commissioner

Meanwhile, Republicans will have a primary for the three seats on the county’s board of commissioners. A total of six candidates filed for the three seats.

Incumbent Republicans Pam Thompson and board chairman John Paisley, Jr. had already filed, as had Ed Priola, who had run for state house in 2022.

They were joined Friday morning by school board member Ryan Bowden, who opted for the commissioner run rather than seeking reelection to his school board seat; Barry Joyce; and Leonard Harrison.  Both Joyce and Harrison have previously run for office – Joyce for commissioner, Harrison for school board.

Incumbent Republican Bill Lashley did not seek reelection.

On the Democratic side, the Democrats filled out a full slate of three candidates for county commissioner.  Filing were: Chris Smith of Mebane; former Green Level mayor Carissa Graves, now of Graham; and Anthony Pierce, who sought the post unsuccessfully in 2022, placing third behind the two Republicans who were elected that year.



School board

School board chairman Sandy Ellington-Graves and vice chairman Donna Westbrooks, both first elected in 2020, have filed for reelection.

Seneca Rogers, who was appointed last month to fill out the remaining year on former member Patsy Simpson’s term, was the first to file for election to the school board when he registered on Tuesday.

They have been joined by: Avery Wagoner, 3015 Berwick Drive, Burlington, who placed fifth for three seats on the ballot in 2022; Tara Raggett, 2427 Colorado Drive, Graham, who sought the appointment to which Rogers was appointed earlier this fall; Peter Morcombe, 474 Thompson Road, Graham, a proponent of charter schools, who had also sought the ABSS appointment; Corrie Shepherd, 3363 Covington Trail, Mebane; and Tameka Harvey, 733 Grover Lane, Burlington.

There is no primary for school board; instead, all eight candidates will face off next November for the four seats.


          Judicial races [UPDATED]

In judicial races, for four district court seats, the two incumbents face no opposition, neither within his or her party, nor from the other party. However, for the two open seats, both a Democrat and Republican filed for each.

Incumbent Democratic judges Larry Brown, Jr. and Kathryn Whitaker “Katie” Overby face no opposition to their reelection to another four-year term.

Doug Green, a Democrat who hopes to be appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper to the one year remaining in the term of Rick Champion who recently became Alamance County’s public defender, filed for the seat to which he hopes to be appointed.

Also filing for Champion’s former seat was attorney and county commissioner Craig Turner, a Republican; Turner was also one of the three attorneys recommended to Cooper recently by the county bar association for the appointment to replace Champion.

And Republican clerk of superior court Meredith Edwards filed for a fifth judgeship that was created by the General Assembly this year, but which won’t be filled until the November 2024 election.

Meanwhile, on Friday, attorney Natalie R. Jones filed as a Democrat for that new judgeship.

[Editor’s Note: an earlier version of this story did not include Turner or Jones; both filed Friday morning in Raleigh, but their candidacies were not included in the elections board’s first posting immediately after noon.]

The county’s fourth district court judge, chief judge Bradley Reid Allen, Sr., is not up for re-election again until 2026.

The only other county official who faces no opposition is Republican register of deeds David Barber.

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