LUMBERTON — Candidates wishing to run for federal, state and county offices can make their bids official when filing begins on Monday for the May 6 primary.
The filing period begins at noon on Monday and ends at noon on Feb. 28.
The Board of Elections’ newly appointed director, G.L. Pridgen, a former state representative, says he doesn’t know what to expect come Monday.
“I hope a lot of people file. I think that’s really important,” Pridgen said. “… If you don’t like the way things are run, go out and try to change them.”
Four Robeson County Board of Commissioners’ seats are up for election: District 2, represented by Hubert Sealey; District 4, represented by Noah Woods; District 6, represented by David Edge; and District 8, represented by Lance Herndon. County commissioners serve four-year terms and candidates must pay $145 to file. All the commissioners are Democrats, except Edge, who is a Republican.
Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey’s four-year position requires a $1,004 filing fee. Sealey has been sheriff since 2005. He is a Democrat.
A four-year term as district attorney, currently held by Johnson Britt, will be available, as will all three District Court judge positions. Candidates filing for district attorney must pay $1,207.
Currently, Chief District Court Judge J. Stanley Carmical and District Court Judges Herbert L. Richardson Sr. and John B. Carter Jr. represent District 16B. Those spots require a $1,107 fee to file for the four-year terms.
The position of clerk of Superior Court, currently held by Shelena Smith, is open. The position carries a four-year term and a $936 filing fee.
The nonpartisan Board of Education will have four spots open as well, each with four-year terms. District 2, represented by Brenda Fairley; District 3, represented by Severeo Kerns; District 6, represented by Mike Smith; and District 8, represented by Dwayne Smith; will be up for grabs. An $87 fee is required to file for the school board.
A six-year term on the U.S. Senate, currently held by Kay Hagan, a Democrat, will be open for filing. There is a $1,740 fee to file for that seat.
Candidates may also file for seats representing the U.S. House of Representatives’ 7th and 8th Congressional Districts, currently represented by Democrat Mike McIntyre and Republican Richard Hudson. McIntyre announced in January that he would not seek a 10th term representing the 8th District, which encompasses a small portion of Robeson County. Hudson has represented the 8th Congressional District, which includes most of Robeson County, since 2013.
There is a $1,740 fee to file for those positions, which are limited to two-year terms.
Democrat Michael Walters won’t seek re-election for North Carolina’s 13th Senate seat, which carries a two-year term. Walters has represented Columbus and Robeson counties since 2009.
Four seats in the North Carolina House of Representatives will also be available — Districts 46, 47, 48 and 66. Those seats are currently held by Democrat Ken Waddell, Democrat Charles Graham, Democrat Garland Pierce and Democrat Ken Goodman, respectively.
It costs $207 to file for the North Carolina General Assembly seats, which all carry two-year terms.
Four eight-year terms on the North Carolina Supreme Court will be available. Chief Justice Sarah Parker is retiring, while Associate Justices Mark Martin, Robin Hudson and Cheri Beasley’s terms are ending. The filing fee is $1,259.
Eight-year terms for three judges on the Court of Appeals — Mark Davis, Donna Stroud and Robert C. Hunter — are also expiring. Candidates can file for those seats with a $1,389 filing fee.
Pridgen said his job has given him a new appreciation for the election process — and Board of Elections employees.
“I didn’t realize the amount of work that goes into it … it seems like there’s always a new deadline,” he said.
Absentee ballots can be requested by mail from March 17 to April 29. All absentee ballots are due by May 6.
April 11 is last day to register to vote. One stop voting begins April 24 and ends May 3 at 1 p.m.
The primary will be held on May 6. Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.