2018 campaigns to gear up


By Amber Hatten-Staley - Assistant editor



LAURINBURG — There will be 22 national, state, county, and local elections that voters in Scotland County will see on the ballot this Spring.

The Scotland County Board of Elections reviewed all of the open positions earlier this week at its monthly meeting. Positions of note include three seats on the board of commissioners, four school board positions, the clerk of court and Scotland County sheriff.

Candidate filing will open on Feb. 12 at noon and will close at noon on Feb. 28 with elections being held May 8.

Sheriff Ralph Kersey announced last year that he would run for re-election, after initially saying he would be stepping away from the position when his current term expired. Unofficially, Kersey has one challenger in the race for sheriff, John Martin a former Master Trooper with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and current land manager for Z.V. Pate Farms.

Other races that will be closely watched include the three open seats on the board of commissioners. The Spring Hill seat currently held by Betty Blue Gholston and two seats representing Stewartsville Township. The Stewartsville seats are currently held by Guy McCook, and vice chair Carol McCall.

Laurinburg Mayor Matthew Block and Lyndon “Bo” Frizzell have opened a committee with the county elections office for a Stewartsville seat on the Scotland County Board of Commissioners. Block’s term as Laurinburg mayor ends in December 2019.

Opening a committee allows candidates to begin raising money for a possible campaign, according to Dell Parker, Scotland County Board of Elections director. Kersey and Martin have both opened committees with the county elections office in their bids for sheriff.

The Board of Education has four seats on the ballot, two from Stewartsville Township and two at-large. Currently, Herman Tyson and Raymond Hyatt hold two of the Stewartsville Township seats while newly-elected chair Dr. Summer Woodside and Jamie Sutherland hold two of the at-large positions.

Tyson joined the board earlier this year after filling the seat vacated by Darrel “B.J” Gibson while Woodside, Sutherland and Hyatt were elected to the board in 2014. Sutherland was appointed to the board in 2013 to serve out the unexpired term of James Underwood and Hyatt was appointed to the board to fulfill the term of Darwin Williams, after he was named chief of police.

Jacob E. Pate has opened a committee for one of the at-large seats on the board of education. If Pate is elected he would be the youngest person to ever serve on the school board at just 20 years old.

Board of education members are elected to four years terms.

District Supervisor positions with the soil and water department, also four-year terms, will be on the ballot. The positions are currently held by Edward T. Carmichael and T.G. Gibson.

Scotland County Clerk of Court W. Phillip McRae’s position is also up for re-election. McRae ran unopposed for his position in the 2014 elections.

United States Representative for the 9th Congressional district currently held by Robert Pittenger will be on the ballot. The seat in the North Carolina Senate, District 25, currently held by Tom McInnis will also be on the spring ballot. McInnis says he will seek re-election.

The North Carolina House Representatives, District 48 and District 66 are up for re-election. District 48 is currently represented by Garland Pierce, who has already declared he will run for an eighth term in office. District 66 is currently represented by Ken Goodman.

The North Carolina Supreme Court has two eight-year associate justice offices that will be on the ballot this Spring. The benches are currently occupied by Barbra Jackson and Sam Ervin.

The NC Court of Appeals has three seat, eight-year terms seats coming open. The positions are currently held by Ann Marie Calabria, Rick Elmore, and John D. Arrowood.

NC District Courts has two judge offices up, currently held by Regina M. Joe and Scott T. Brewer, which are four-year terms.

Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or ahatten@laurinburgexchange.com.

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By Amber Hatten-Staley

Assistant editor

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