Some incumbents see challenges in Tri-County races

Feb. 28, 2014 @ 07:23 PM

The U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Kay Hagan has drawn 13 hopefuls. But in the Tri-County, races for sheriffs, county commissioners and school boards were far less crowded.

Primaries are scheduled May 6 and the general election Nov. 4.

Vance County’s Peter White is the only sheriff in the three counties to be without opposition. Warren’s Johnny Williams faces Greg Ayscue in a Democratic primary. Granville’s Brindell Wilkins meets Jamye Hughes and Ronald Smith Sr. in a Democratic primary.

There were no Republicans filing for sheriff in the three counties.

Only one of the four school board seats in Vance County drew opposition to incumbents. In District 1, Gloria White will be challenged by Carolyn Faines.

Darlynn Oxendine in District 2, Margaret Ellis in District 6 and Ruth Hartness in District 7 do not have challengers.

Incumbent county commissioners Gordon Wilder, a Democrat representing District 3, and Dan Brummitt, a Republican in District 4, are unopposed. Tommy Hester, a Republican, will face Democratic challenger Scott Hughes in May for the District 7 seat.

Incumbents Deborah Finch and Carolyn Pecora, both Democrats, filed for clerk of court and register of deeds, respectively, without challengers.

In Warren County commission races, Richard Lorenzo Wilkins will battle Tare Davis in the Democratic primary for the District 2 position. Incumbent Ulysses Ross didn’t file for re-election.

In District 3, incumbent Ruby Downey will face three others in the Democratic primary: Andy Riggleman, Gary Morgan and Victor Hunt.

District 4 commissioner Bertadean Baker is challenged by fellow Democrat Charles Ayscue in the May 6 primary. No Republicans filed for county commissioner in Warren County.

All three school board members filed for re-election and have no opposition: Henry Durham Jr., Lynne Lassiter and Calvin Curtis Jones.

Richard Hunter, clerk of Superior Court, is unopposed.

In Granville County, two of the three county commission slots up for election this year will see competition.

In District 2, incumbent George Case Ritchie, a Republican, will battle incumbent David Smith, a Democrat, in November. In District 6, Democrat Mike Turner will challenge incumbent Tim Karan, a Republican, in the general election. District 7 county commissioner Edgar Smoak’s seat is uncontested.

School board members are elected in May, and two of the three seats up for election saw more than one candidate seeking the post.

In District 2, incumbent Brenda Dickerson-Daniel will battle Tom Houlihan. In District 6, Catherine “Rose” Lyon, the incumbent, faces off against Danny L. Eudy. Toney William Smith, who represents District 1, is the lone candidate in that race.

Three people filed for the open Clerk of Superior Court position: C.F. Knott, Yancey Washington and Danny Emory.

With District Attorney Sam Currin retiring at the end of his term, two Democrats stepped up to run for his seat: Mike Waters and Cindy Bostic. They’ll face off in the May 6 primary. With no Republican challengers, the winner of that contest will hold the position.

Henderson District Court Judge Henry Banks drew no opposition for his District 9B position and will retain the post. Judgeships are non-partisan.

Eight Republicans, three Democrats and two Libertarians have put their names forward for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Hagan.

Thom Tillis, Jim Snyder, Edward Kryn, Mark Harris, Heather Grant, Alex Lee Bradshaw, Greg Brannon and Ted Alexander will face off in the May 6 primary.

Democrats will also have a primary for the junior Senate post. Will Stewart and Ernest T. Reeves will take on Hagan in May.

Third-party libertarians Sean Haugh and Tim D’Annunzio also filed and will square off in May, making it a three-way race for the U.S. Senate seat in November.

Democratic U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, whose District 1 covers areas in the northeastern part of the state, faces a primary challenge from Dan Whittacre. Republicans Arthur Rich and Brent Shypulefski will duke it out in May, too.

U.S. Rep. George Holding was the only Republican to file in District 13. Democrats are fielding three candidates for his seat: Arunava “Ron” Sanyal, Brenda Cleary and Virginia Conlon.

Incumbent Angela R. Bryant, a Democrat, will square off against GOP nominee Richard Scott for the state Senate District 4 seat that includes Vance and Warren counties.

State Sen. Floyd B. McKissick Jr. drew no challengers from his own party or the Republicans and will hold onto his District 20 post. He represents part of Granville County.

The race for state Rep. Winkie Wilkins’ District 2 seat drew six candidates; Wilkins is retiring at the end of his term. On the GOP side, Jon Greg Bass, Sandra Hendrick Berry and Larry Yarborough all filed. Democrats Ray Jeffers, Dalton L. Huff and Brent Groce all placed their names on the ballot. Both parties will hold primaries May 6.

N.C. Rep. Nathan A. Baskerville, who represents the Tri-County, faced no challengers and will retain his District 32 seat.

Contact the writer at vshortley@hendersondispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter at @herding_stets.