Don't complain; file for office

·3 min read

Nov. 29—Tired of how government does or doesn't work? Now is the chance to make a difference.

The candidate filing period for everything from U.S. Senate to county sheriff opens at noon Monday, Dec. 6, and only lasts until Friday, Dec. 17, also at noon.

Those interested in throwing their hat in the ring for a public office must do so within that time period.

In addition to the U.S. Senate race to see who will replace retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, the newly created 14th Congressional District emcompassing Haywood has created a lot of interest.

At the state level, redrawn legislative maps mean that Haywood will only have one House representative, a seat now occupied by N.C. Rep. Mark Pless, but will include two state Senate districts, #47 and #50. In general, eastern Haywood will be in the 47th district, while the remainder of the county will remain part of the 50th district.

Other seats up for grabs during the March 8, 2022, Primary Election include three county commissioner seats — ones now occupied by incumbents Kirk Kirkpatrick, Tommy Long and Jennifer Best — as well as the positions of register of deeds, clerk of court, tax collector and county sheriff.

District court races will also be in play, but since the redistricting maps came out so late, Robert Inman, county elections director, said mapping details are not yet finalized.

"State-level contests involve multiple counties and we can't enter those," Inman said.

The current push is to make sure all the new addresses assigned in Canton are updated in the voter data base, he said, something that will be crucial for making sure those who will be voting in the new senate district will have a seamless transition.

"We swapped being split in N.C. House district to being split in the N.C. Senate," Inman said, adding that fortunately, no precincts were split in the redistricting process.

So far, the local race that has drawn the most interest is for sheriff. Incumbent Greg Christopher is retiring, and there are at least two candidates from each political party who have indicated an interest in running.

One new requirement this year, Inman said, is that a state law enforcement review agency must perform background checks on individuals filing for sheriff and that paperwork must be presented at the time of filing.

He said he's contacted all those who have expressed an interest so far about the requirement so they can get the process started.

Primary Election winners who receive a plurality of votes will advance to the General Election in November. So far, wide interest in both the Republican and Democratic candidates for N.C. 14 could spell a need for a run-off election such as happened two years ago when U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn received the GOP nomination.

In July, candidate filing will reopen for nonpartisan races on the ballot, including school board, soil and water and sanitary district elections.

For additional information about running for public office, visit the Haywood County website or call 828-452-6633.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting