ROCKINGHAM — Two candidates with educational backgrounds have thrown their proverbial hats in the ring in separate county races.
Longtime educator Daryl Mason is vying for a seat on the Richmond County Board of Education.
Mason began his career as a health and physical education and physical science teacher.
In 2001, he made the move from classroom to administration to become the assistant principal at Rockingham Middle School. He later moved up to be principal of Leak Street High School (now Ashley Chapel Educational Center) and what he said was the equivalent to dean of students at Richmond Senior High School.
Mason was appointed to the Richmond County Board of Commissioners in mid-2014 to fill the seat left vacant when Jimmy Maske stepped down due to health concerns.
Also filing for the school board this week were incumbent Joe Richardson and challenger J.L. “Reverend” McCullers. Current school board members Bobbie Sue Ormsby and Irene Pittman Aiken filed on Monday, when filing began at noon, as did challenger Pat Campbell.
Michael R. Campbell, a Richmond County native who spent most of his education career in Stanly County, is hoping to be elected as a county commissioner. However, since he is unaffiliated, Campbell has to collect 1,202 signatures by May 8 to be on the November ballot, according to Elections Director Connie Kelly.
Campbell, currently a part-time assistant principal at Mineral Springs Elementary School, was previously elected to the Norwood Town Council, but had to step down after moving outside municipal limits.
Commissioners Herb Long, Ben Moss and Don Bryant all filed on Monday, along with second-time challenger Tavares Bostic.
Two incumbents, Commissioner Thad Ussery and school board member Don Greene, have yet to file and there are no challengers yet running against Sheriff James Clemmons and Clerk of Superior Court Vickie Daniel, according to Kelly.
State Rep. Ken Goodman, D-Richmond, is also currently in the clear; however, Sen. Tom McInnis will have to make it past both the Republican Primary and the general election if he wants to return to Raleigh.
Whispering Pines Mayor Michelle Lexo filed for the District 25 state Senate seat in Moore County on Friday.
Lexo made history in 2015 when she became the village’s first female mayor, after serving three years on the council. She also serves on several county committees.
“This is a new senate district and I think it is important that we give the voters a good alternative,” she said, according to the Aberdeen Times. “I have several issues I want to focus on as we move forward with education being at the top of the list.”
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.
McInnis, R-Richmond, won the seat in the 2014 election after defeating incumbent Democrat Gene McLaurin, who only served one term.
Filing for county, state and federal candidates ends at noon Feb. 28.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 or [email protected]