DOBSON — Eight local individuals have filed to run for various offices across Surry County over the first two days of the candidate signing period, which opened Tuesday for the 2016 campaign season.
Already, it’s clear there will be at least two seats contested by several candidates, with one potential four-way primary shaping up for March.
Ronald Bowman, of Pilot Mountain, filed to run for the East District seat on the Surry County Board of Commissioners, running as a Democrat. Van Tucker, of Pinnacle, filed to seek the same seat, running as a Republican.
Paul Johnson, the GOP incumbent in that post, had not filed as of late Wednesday afternoon, but last week said he intends to run for re-election despite being under indictment on four charges of obtaining property by false pretenses. All charges relate to Johnson allegedly filing bogus or duplicate requests for reimbursements from the county or other public bodies on which he serves.
Three candidates have filed to seek the GOP nomination for the Mount Airy seat on the board. Van Cooke, Bill Goins, and Allen Poindexter, all of Mount Airy, filed for that spot on the board, now held by long-time incumbent Jimmy Miller, a member of the GOP as well. Miller has said he will seek re-election to an eighth term in office if his health allows.
Others filing to run for public office in 2016 include Democrat Carolyn M. Comer, who will seek re-election to the post of register of deeds; Incumbent Clark Goins of Fox Hunter Trail in Mount Airy, seeking another term in the District 5 Surry County Board of Education seat; and State Rep. Sarah Stevens, of Margaret Drive in Mount Airy, who is seeking re-election to her seat in the General Assembly.
The filing period runs through Dec. 21 at noon, with nine seats open in Surry County. Among those are the Mount Airy and East District seats on the Surry Board of Commissioners; the county register of deeds; two seats on the non-partisan Surry County Board of Education, representing Districts 1 and 5; the City and East District slots on the non-partisan Elkin Board of Education; and the state House and Senate seats in the N.C. General Assembly which include Surry County.
In past years the filing period was in February, but was moved to December this year as a result of the statewide March 15 primary. The primary was bumped up to March 15 in an effort to keep North Carolina relevant in the presidential primary, rather than waiting until the presidential contests had been all but decided before state voters had the opportunity to participate.