The primary election scheduled for March became a heated race on the final day of filing Monday. The Sampson County Board of Elections office was busy, as several candidates signed the paperwork to make their filings official.
Prior to Monday’s filing deadline, the race for the Clinton City Board of Education seemed like a no-brainer, as only two candidates had filed for three open seats. Both E.R. Mason and Jason Walters, incumbents, had filed to continue serving on the board, but current board member Diane Viser announced last month that she would not seek re-election.
The excitement picked up in that race after two new comers filed Monday, at the final hour. For sure, the Clinton City Board of Education will definitely see at least one new face on the board in March, with both Michael Lanier and Dana Scott expressing their interest in serving by filing.
With three terms set to expire in 2016, the Sampson County Board of Education now has five candidates vying for three seats on the board. Tim Register was the fifth person to file, showing interest in serving the students of Sampson County (see related story on A1). Register is retired from Sampson County Schools.
Incumbent Sonya Powell filed for re-election, but both Fay Gay and Glenn Tart announced they would not be seeking another term. Others seeking a place on the school board are Eugene Pearsall, Tracy Dunn and Pat Usher.
“I have kids in the Hobbton School district and I feel that we need to keep representation on the board from our area,” Usher said when interviewed at his filing. “My wife and I are pretty involved with the schools and we try to stay in the know of what’s going on.”
Dunn, who has lived in the Plain View area for more than two decades, said she is looking forward to the opportunity to serve the students of Sampson County.
“I feel that I will provide a different perspective to the school board and see this as an opportunity to serve the Sampson County School system, which has been so valuable in the education of my daughters,” Dunn said. “I look forward to the opportunity of working with Dr. Bracy, the staff and other board members in the support of Sampson County Schools.”
Powell is currently in her first term and has served the board for three years. She wants to do it for another four.
“I decided to run for another term because I wanted to continue what I started as far as improving children’s education,” Powell expressed. “Sampson County has came a long way, but we still have much work to do in making sure every child gets the education they need.”
Pearsall, who has children in the Hobbton district, said he is looking toward the opportunity to help the Hobbton area, and other districts, grow.
“I’m a concerned parent,” Pearsall said. “I’m concerned about the children and the teachers. I want to make sure our kids get what they need to go to college.”
According to data collected from the Board of Elections office, the county commissioner, district 2 seat, currently held by Billy Lockamy, will see a new face on the board come March. Lockamy announced last week that he would not seek another term, instead offering his nod of approval and support to Republican Jerol Kivett, who filed Dec. 10. There have been no other filings in this position.
A Clinton High graduate, Kivett expressed in an earlier interview that he decided to dabble in local politics because of his love for Sampson County and his desire to see it continue on a positive path, paving the way for a brighter future for generations to come.
“I’m offering my services if I’m honored with the votes to do so,” he attested.
Commissioner Harry Parker’s seat is also up for re-election. Parker, a Democrat, is the only person to file for his seat, which covers district 4 of Sampson County.
Rep. Larry Bell, who is seeking his ninth term serving District 21, will have competition, as Scotty Smith filed for the seat.
Rep. William Brisson has filed for re-election to the N.C. House of Representatives, covering district 22. Benjamin Snyder has also filed for that seat.
Sampson County Register of Deeds Eleanor Bradshaw has filed for re-election, with no opposition, as has Sen. Brent Jackson for the State Senate, with no one else filing for the seat.
Both William Sutton and Mario White have filed for District Court judge.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.