The 2014 election campaigns begin

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

By Jessica Moore

Staff Writer

The first day to pick up a petition to run for political office was Friday, Jan. 3, and the first to arrive at the Election Commission office was Scottie Poarch, who made an unsuccessful bid to unseat County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett in 2010, and hopes to try again this year. Liggett intends to run again this year.

Those interested in being candidates were able to stop by the office at the Hardison School Annex beginning at 8 a.m. to pick up a petition and an information packet.

The first candidate to return with a completed petition was Superintendent of Roads Jerry Williams, who was back at the office in less than two hours with 50 signatures on his petition. Williams has been Superintendent of Roads since 2002.

Courtney Curtis Boatright is challenging Elinor Foster for the job of Circuit Court Clerk, and Rob Dalton is rumored to be challenging Donna Orr Hargrove for Public Defender, but had not picked up a petition when the Tribune went to press.

Also considering two different offices is retired Chapel Hill Police Chief Jackie King. King has picked up petitions for both County Mayor and Sheriff. A decision has yet to be made. Robert Gallahaire has picked up his petition to run for an alderman's seat for the town of Chapel Hill. Wesley Neece, who was appointed to District Five of the County Commission, has chosen to seek election for the upcoming term.

Other incumbents seeking re-election are, so far, Daphne Fagan, County Clerk; Norman Dalton, Sheriff; Marilyn Irvin, Trustee; Tom Sumners, County Commission District Nine; Dorris Wayne Weaver, Register of Deeds; Lee Bowles, General Sessions and Juvenile Judge; Roger Brandon, City of Lewisburg Judge; Dean Delk, County Commission District One; and Nathan Johnson County Commission District Nine.

In addition to the offices already mentioned, all seats on the county commissioners and school board positions from districts three, five, six and nine are up for grabs. In Lewisburg, the city judge will be elected, and in Chapel Hill, the mayor and three of the aldermen.

School board members whose terms expire this year are Chairman Mike Keny, and members Kristen Gold, Barbara Kennedy, and Donnie Moses. As the Tribune went to press, there was no word whether any -- or all -- of them will seek re-election, or intend to step down and let other concerned citizens take a turn at making decisions for the benefit of the county's teachers and children.

In the 17th Judicial District -- Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall, and Moore counties -- the four positions available for campaign include Circuit Court Judge, Chancellor, District Attorney, and Public Defender. On the state and national scene, the August primary will select candidates for the November election for state representative, governor, member of congress, and senator.

There were a few changes made to the regulations this year with regard to the amount that a single person can donate and that a political action committee can donate. An individual is not allowed to contribute more than $1,500 to a candidate's campaign. A PAC is not able to donate more than $7,400 to a candidate.

Candidates have until April 3 to turn in their petitions. All candidates must be at least 18 years of age, live in the county, and have at least 25 signatures from registered voters in order to qualify to run for office. The election will be held Thursday, Aug. 7.

If you have not registered to vote you can do so at the Election Commission Office at the Hardison School Annex, and also at the County Clerk's office, the Register of Deeds office, and the Marshall County Memorial Library. Other departments -- such as health, human services, and safety (motor vehicle division) -- also offer voter registration opportunities.

Administrator of Elections Tristan Arnold would like to remind voters if they have changed their name or their address to please go by the election office to update their records. Some district boundaries have changed since the last election, so this is worth checking as well if voters know they live close to the line.