Filing begins

Published 5:59 pm Thursday, December 14, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

With the primary election just a few months away, candidates are already gearing up to campaign for votes. The first step, however, is to officially submit their names to be included on the ballot.

Candidate filing opened on Dec. 4 and will continue until noon on Friday, Dec. 15.

As of Monday afternoon (Dec. 11), several individuals have filed seeking seats on the Gates County Board of Commissioner and the county’s Board of Education.

Incumbent Commissioners Linda Hofler (Hobbsville District) and Althea Riddick (Sunbury District), both Democrats, have filed to seek another term in office.

Two Republican newcomers have also filed for the Board of Commissioners: Nathan Berryman (Hobbsville District) and Dave Forsythe (Sunbury District).

Mary Cathy Horton (incumbent, Register of Deeds) has also filed.

There are two seats available on the Gates County Board of Education, which is a nonpartisan race. Candidates for those seats thus far include Jonathan Jones (District 2), Ray Felton (incumbent, District 2), Amanda J. Heimbecker (incumbent, District 4), and Terri R. Riddick (District 4).

Gates County and Hertford County are both included in NC House of Representatives District 5. As of Monday, incumbent Bill Ward, a Republican from Elizabeth City, and Howard Hunter III, a Democrat from Ahoskie, have filed for that seat. Ward defeated Hunter, then the incumbent, in the 2022 General Election.

All four counties of the Roanoke-Chowan area are included in NC Senate District 1. Republican incumbent Bobby Hanig of Powells Point is currently the only candidate to have filed.

Gates County is included in Judicial District 1. District Court Judge seats 4 and 5 are up for grabs in the 2024 election cycle and candidates who have filed as of Dec. 11 are Edgar L. Barnes (Seat 4) and Amber Davis Malarney (Seat 5). Both are Republicans.

All four Roanoke-Chowan counties are included in the US House of Representatives District 1. Candidates who have filed for that race as of Dec. 11 include Sandy Smith and Laurie Buckhout, both Republicans.

A number of statewide races will also be included on the primary ballot. Those elections include Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, State Auditor, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Labor, Secretary of State, Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Treasurer, NC Supreme Court Associate Justice (seat 6), and NC Court of Appeals Judge (seats 12, 14, 15).

Candidates who have filed for Governor so far include Chrelle Booker, Michael R. (Mike) Morgan, and Marcus W. Williams, all Democrats, as well as Republican Dale R. Folwell.

Lt. Governor candidates include Democrats Ben Clark and Rachel Hunt, as well as Republicans Rivera Douthit, Deanna Ballard, and Jeffrey Elmore.

Those filing for local races, state senator, and state house of representatives will do so at their county board of elections office. Candidates for other federal, state, and judicial offices must register with the State Board of Elections in Raleigh.

Unless otherwise specified, all candidates much be registered to vote in the state, qualified to vote in an election for the office sought, and 21 years old by the date of the general election. No person may file for more than one office for any one election.

Once filed, the deadline to withdraw a notice of candidacy is Dec. 12.

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, March 5. Voters will choose which candidates will be the party nominees for the general election in November 2024.