By Stan Welch
Filing for all state and local elected offices closed last week. The following are the candidates for the various offices. U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan of District Three will face Hosea Cleveland in the general election, while Congressman Trey Gowdy will face Democrat Chris Fedalei and a Constitution Party candidate in November.
In the State Senate, District Three incumbent Kevin Bryant is unopposed. Following a seemingly endless series of primary and runoff elections District Seven incumbent Mike Gambrell is also unopposed. Gambrell won several elections in his quest to fill Senator Billy O’Dell’s seat, which was vacated by his untimely passing earlier this year. Jay West is unopposed for Gambrell’s vacant House seat.
Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Brian White, from State District Six, is unopposed. Anne Thayer was unopposed in the primary for her District Nine House seat, but she has a Democratic opponent in November, Mary Geren. Joshua Putnam, the incumbent from District Ten, was also unopposed in the primary but will face Democrat Anna Brown in the general election.
The candidates for Sheriff (Chad McBride); Solicitor,(David Wagner); Clerk of Court (Richard Shirley); Coroner (Greg Shore); Treasurer (Jason Phillips); and Auditor (Jacky Hunter) are all unopposed in the general election.
County council members Cindy Wilson, Ken Waters, and Tom Allen are all unopposed. Lib Pack and Rudy Rhodes face no opposition in the Piedmont Public Service Commission race.
Mike Upton is unopposed for the District Two seat on the Board of Education. In the District One School Board races, Brenda Ellison is unopposed in Area Six, Mike Wilson is unopposed in Area Two, while Moochie Merritt is opposed by John C. Neel IV in Area Three.
Al Rentz is unopposed in his run for the Big Creek Watershed Conservation Commission, While Carroll Ross is unopposed in the Broadmouth Creek election. Three Candidates are vying for the Brushy Creek Commission: Eric McConnell, Gary Nevil, and Scott Smart. J. Mark Bishop, William McAbee III, and Phil Tripp are vying for the Three & Twenty Commission.
Also on the ballot is a referendum issue, concerning whether to change the current term of County Council members from a two year non-staggered term to a four year staggered term, which would avoid the possibility of a total turnover of the Council in one election cycle.