ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County Sheriff James E. Clemmons Jr. was the first in line Monday to file for office at the Board of Elections.
Filing began at noon for six county and state offices, with Clemmons and six other candidates ready to sign up for another term in their elected positions. The others were state Sen. Tom McInnis, Bobbie Sue Ormsby, Vickie Daniel (Clerk of Superior Court), state Rep. Ken Goodman, Pat Campbell and Tavares Bostic.
As the day went on, other candidates made their way to the office: Commissioners Herb Long, Ben Moss and Don Bryant; and Board of Education member Irene Pittman Aiken.
McInnis, R-Richmond, is vying for his third term in the North Carolina Senate and Goodman, D-Richmond, is seeking his fifth term in the state House of Representatives.
Newly redrawn districts, which are still being contested in court, give the legislators a slightly different constituency they they’ve been used to.
Goodman’s current gerrymandered district — which resembles a Rorschach inkblot test roughly in the shape of a mutated letter “M” — comprises parts of Richmond, Montgomery, Scotland, Hoke and Robeson counties.
The new district gives Goodman the entirety of his home county, along with all of Montgomery and a sliver of northeastern Stanly County.
The new Senate map takes away Stanly and part of Rowan County from McInnis’ district, but adds Moore County to the remaining Richmond, Anson and Scotland.
Last week, Moore County Democrat Helen Probst Mills announced her intention to challenge McInnis in the Senate race.
School board incumbents Ormsby and Aiken will face challenger Pat Campbell in the May 8 election. Two other incumbents, Joe Richardson and Don Greene, have yet to file. Campbell was vocal last year in his opposition to the school board’s decision to transform Cordova from serving only special-needs students to a middle school.
Bostic is trying a second time for a seat on the Richmond County Board of Commissioners, running this year against Long, Moss and Bryan. In the 2016 election, Bostic filed for a recount after he came within 0.77 percent of incumbent Kenneth Robinette for the third of three seats on the board.
Longtime Commissioner Thad Ussery did not file on the first day.
In addition to the paperwork, a microphone was set up on the counter for candidates to record their names and the office they are seeking.
Elections Director Connie Kelly said this was to “ensure proper pronunciation of candidates’ names for audio ballot files.”
“Audio files are used to program voting equipment in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act for visually impaired voters who may desire to vote without assistance,” she said.
District Attorney Reece Saunders has to file directly with the N.C. State Board of Elections and judges are scheduled to file in June. Congressional filing also began Monday.
Filing for county, state and federal candidates ends at noon Feb. 28.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.