Incumbents Dominate Opening of Filing Period
Incumbents dominated the day when the filing period opened Monday for the 2010 midterm elections.
One political newcomer, Ed Dennison, filed for an at-large seat on the nonpartisan Board of Education.
Everyone else filing for office at the Moore County Board of Elections office in Carthage was an incumbent. Click here for latest candidates to file.
Filing just as the filing period opened at noon were school board members Sue Black and Dale Frye, Clerk of Court Susan Hicks, and County Commissioners Jimmy Melton and Larry Caddell.
An hour later, Sheriff Lane Carter and Register of Deeds Judy Martin were on the scene, followed shortly thereafter by state Sen. Harris Blake and then Dennison, who is from Pinehurst.
Two other incumbent Board of Education members, Charles Lambert and Pam Thompson, filed Tuesday. Lambert is running for the District III seat and Thompson is running for an at-large seat.
GOP Chair Hopeful
Supporters showing up for the opening of the filing period Monday included such Republican heavyweights as former Gov. Jim Holshouser, former County Commissioner Colin McKenzie and former county GOP Chairman John Owen. Holshouser identified himself as "sort of an honorary chairman" for Hicks' campaign.
"I'm not going to predict," said Bob Levy, chairman of the Moore County Republican Party, when asked if he expects GOP challengers for the Republican incumbents. "Rumors never do anyone any good."
At present all elected officials in Moore County, except members of the nonpartisan school board and Conservation Board of Supervisors, are Republicans - the party that holds a substantial majority on county registration books.
At latest count, the registration totals 59,850, including 25,485 Republicans, 18,474 Democrats, 15,810 unaffiliated and 81 Libertarians.
Levy said the Republican Party has an excellent opportunity to take control of both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly this year.
"One-party rule has been around too long, and we need a breath of fresh air," Levy said.
Levy called 2011 an important year for Republicans to be in control because that is the year for state legislative and congressional redistricting.
He said 1898 was the last time that the Democratic Party did not control both legislative houses in North Carolina and pointed out that 1898 was the year that "Democrats gave us the Wilmington race riots."
Since then, the Republicans have controlled the state House on occasion but not both chambers at the same time.
"People are starting to realize that we need a conservative legislature," Levy said. "We have an excellent chance of taking over this year."
Levy said that the Republican Party leadership must remain neutral in the primary election campaigns but expressed the hope that if there are races for Republican nomination, the primary season will not be divisive. May 4 is the primary election date this year.
Two More Expected to File
Two well-known Republican incumbents who did not show up to file Monday have announced that they do plan to run for re-election.
State Rep. Jamie Boles has made it clear that he will be a candidate for a second term in the House.
County Commissioner Cindy Morgan said Monday that she plans to file for her second term later this week.
Morgan laughed when asked about a rumor that she was planning to file for state House and that her husband, former state House Co-Speaker Richard Morgan, would file for state Senate. As for the rumor that she was prepared to endorse her successor for the District III seat on the Board of Commissioners, Morgan said she did not even know the individual mentioned for her rumored endorsement.
"That is exactly what it is - a rumor," she said. "It is absolutely a rumor. I haven't indicated that at all."
Morgan said that she did not file Monday because she needed to check with a few people before making a decision, that she has since made those contacts and has definitely decided to file for another four-year term.
Moore County's lone Democratic office-holder is state Rep. Joe Hackney, of Orange County, whose House district includes one-and-a-half precincts in Moore County. Hackney, who now serves as speaker of the House, is expected to file in his home county. He lives in Chapel Hill.
Congressman Howard Coble has announced that he will file for re-election to his 14th term in the U.S. House of Represent-atives. The Greensboro Repub-lican represents the 6th District, which includes Moore County.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Coble had not yet filed. Neither had Dr. James Taylor, a Pinehurst anesthesiologist who has announced his intention to run against Coble in the Republican primary.
Despite the lack of challengers on the scene Monday, the occasion was festive with dozens of supporters showing up at election headquarters to witness the filing process.
Hicks was presented a bouquet of yellow roses by her supporters. Hicks was appointed last year to fill the remaining years of the unexpired term of retiring clerk Catherine Graham. This is her first effort to win a full four-year term.
Supporters presented Martin with a bouquet of red roses after she filed an hour later.
The filing period ends at noon Feb. 26.
Candidates for county offices and for the legislature file with their local elections boards. However, candidates for state offices, district attorney, the U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate file with the State Board of Elections in Raleigh.
Moore County Democratic Party Chairman Jim Heim could not be reached for comment Tuesday on whether his party will field any candidates for the local offices.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at (910) 693-2479 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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