ROCKINGHAM — Tommy Deese will have a little competition on the November ballot for the Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors.
Jerry Mac Snead and Victoria Smith both filed on July 5 for their chance at being voted onto the board, according to Richmond County Elections Director Connie Kelly.
The two candidates are from opposite ends of the county and both have a background in farming.
Snead has a family farm near the Mountain Creek Fire Department, where they raise hay for cows and have a four-house chicken farm, raising poultry for Mountaire Farms.
He said current board member Jeff Joyner approached him about running because they were looking for someone from the Ellerbe area. His mother, Linda Snead, previously served on the board in the late ’70s and early ’80s, he said.
Snead joked that he was hoping his wife would file instead, adding that he still had some paperwork to fill out.
Smith comes from “a long line of farmers” on her father’s side of the family along Springhill Church Road, southeast of Hamlet near the South Carolina line.
“If you didn’t raise a garden, you didn’t eat,” she said.
Smith said she cares about conservation because of how vital agriculture is to life and hopes to inspire others to care.
“If soil and water isn’t important, nothing is,” she added. “You have to protect your resources.”
Three seats on the five-member board are up for grabs this year: two by election, one by appointment. The terms are for four years.
The board governs the district, which is responsible for preventing soil erosion and protecting water and other natural resources from abuse and deterioration.
Deese, a farmer and retiree of the N.C. Forest Service, was elected to the board in 2014, along with Jared Gainey.
Gainey eventually stepped down and was replaced by Bill Thompson, who recently turned in his resignation.
Pat Dial had been appointed by the North Carolina Soil and Water Conservation Commission, but later departed and Bill Comninaki was appointed to fill out the term in 2016.
The filing period began at noon on Monday, June 11, and ended at noon Friday, July 6.
Candidates’ names will appear on the mid-term election ballot in November.
If no one else had filed, Kelly said, the second elected seat would have been determined by write-in votes. Gainey was elected by write-in in 2014.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 or [email protected]
Two more candidates filed for election for the Richmond County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors on July 5, bringing the total to three. There are two elected seats up for grabs, as well as an appointed seat.