Candidate Filing Period: Open Thread

The candidate filing period for the May 8 primary elections begins today at noon. In Orange County, 10 seats in various state and county races are up for grabs.

ContestAffiliationFiling Date
NC Senate District 23 [map]
 Dave Carter
RepFeb 20
 Ellie Kinnaird (i)
DemFeb 15
NC House District 50 [map]
 Justin Chambers
Feb 27
 Rod Chaney
RepFeb 13
 Valerie Foushee
DemFeb 13
 W. Lewis Hannah, Jr
RepFeb 14
 Travis Phelps
DemFeb 20
 Thomas Samuel WrightRep
Feb 17
NC House District 56 [map]
 Verla C. Insko (i)
DemFeb 13
 Karrie Mead
Feb 21
Orange County Commissioner District 1 (2 seats) [map]
 Mark Dorosin
DemFeb 20
 Pam Hemminger (i)Dem
Feb 13
 Penny Rich
DemFeb 14
Orange County Commissioner District 2 (1 seat) [map]
 Renee PriceDemFeb 13
 Chris Weaver
Feb 13
 Steve Yuhasz (i)
DemFeb 13
Orange County Commissioner at large (1 seat)
 Mary Carter
Feb 14
 Bernadette Pelissier (i)
DemFeb 13
Orange County Board of Education (3 seats)
 A. Scott Broaddus -Feb 16
 Stephen H. Halkiotis (i)-Feb 13
 Tony McKnight (i)-Feb 14
 Tommy T. McNeill
-Feb 13
 Lawrence Sanders
-Feb 13
District Court Judge - District 15B - Anderson Seat
 Charles Anderson (i)
-Feb 14
District Court Judge - District 15B - Bryan Seat
 Jay Bryan (i)-Feb 13
District Court Judge - District 15B - Long Seat
 Lunsford Long (i)-Feb 15
District Court Judge - District 15B - Scarlett Seat
 Beverly A. Scarlett (i)-Feb 14

Updates on candidate filings will appear on the Orange County Board of Elections website at See the recent post by Erin Crouse for a discussion of local implications of the recent statewide redistricting.

Also on the May 8 ballot: Amendment One, North Carolina's very own gay-bashing constitutional amendment. You can find information about how to defeat Amendment One at the Protect All NC Families website.

The candidate filing period will end at noon on February 29.



I saw Rod Chaney walking down Queen St.His hair was perfect.

Where Wolff's of Orange County?

Called "Orange" instead of "Grey".

Looking at, I see the incumbents are coming out strong, with Commissioners Pelissier (at large), Yuhasz (D2/north), and Hemminger (D1/south) filing for re-election. Yuhasz has already drawn a challenger in Renee Price, and whoever wins the Democratic primary will face Republican Chris Weaver in November. Chris will provide some tea-party flavored variety in that race, but I'd pretty surprised if he does much more than that. Interestingly, I learned a few days ago that Commissioner Foushee will not be filing for re-election to the other southern district (D1) seat and have also heard from no less than 3 (!) strong candidates who are considering running in that district (which has two seats up for election this year). Pam Hemminger may have a tough time just holding on to her seat.

And Val Foushee has now filed to run in NC House 50! I think her chances are good, but there could be another strong candiate from Durham since the rural part of that county is now in this district as well

to see who files to run for County Commission now that Foushee is running for HD 50. I can think of some candidates I'd like to see.. 

I don't know who that "strong candidate" would be. No one has run successfully for County-wide office **from any of the House 50 precincts** (except for sheriff)  in Durham Co. for many years. Will be interesting to see. I believe that Val F can do well in most of the CH precincts in the district.  Those have by far the highest density of voters of all the district's precincts.  Ed Harrison

Travis Phelps, 22, of Durham. though by the looks of his campaign and personnal Facebook pages, I'm not sure how well the Democratic moniker fits.

This person will not win a primary in a district that includes a number of Chapel Hill precincts.  When someone with a history of getting votes in Durham County files, will let folks know.  Ed Harrison

New blood. Sometimes the lure of higher office helps us upgrade the BOCC.

and commits to doing their homework, Hemminger is history.

I was very excited to see that Chapel Hill Town Council Member Penny Rich has also filed to run for one of the two available southern seats (aka District 1) on the Board of County Commissioners. She would bring tremendous energy and much-needed leadership to that body. I'm confident that we will be seeing at least one other challenger in that race, which is great. I think the Commissioners have been flying under our radar for way too long, and county government is not just the "caboose" as commissioner Barry Jacobs recently stated, it's going off the tracks.

State Sen. Bob Atwater (D), with whom Sen. Kinnaird was double-bunked, will not be seeking re-election, per NCDP:

Is there a resource that explains why the county commission has the (somewhat) strange composition of sub-county and at-large seats? How often are the commissioners up for re-election? Are the terms staggered (as appears to be the case)? 

Here's some information from our archives: short story is there were some people who lived out in the county that felt like their voice wasn't being heard. So, in 2006, there was a referendum on the ballot to move to district representation. The seats are staggered, and each district selects their candidate in the primary. Then the entire county votes between the Democratic and Republican nominee in the general election. I am not sure if this system has done what it was intended to do, but it's what we have for now.

A committee formed to study fair representation for the county in 1993, suggested that cumulative voting would be a very good solution. The committee was formed by incumbents (mainly Moses Carey) and stacked with folks they thought would conclude that the existing system was just fine. At the beginning of the process a large majority of members stated that they expected to find no reason to change the system. After public hearings and studying the situation, it was nearly unanimous that teh system should be changed. So Carey and others tossed their report into the dustbin. Cumulative voting would be far superior to this clunky hybrid district plan.

Does anyone know/know where I could find the vote totals for the approval of this district plan from '06? Just curious as to how the referendum was worded, and the margin of victory.

what I was looking for. Thanks, Jason!

I don't see A. Scott Broaddus on the BOE webpage anymore. Did he withdraw? The only mentions I could find about him online was a complaint about the sales tax referendum last year that was included in an OC GOP press release, and a few other tea party things.Seems like lots of Republicans are lining up (for defeat, IMHO). I wonder if the robocalls I had heard about urging conservatives to run for office had something to do with that? 

I talked to Scott this afternoon. He withdrew citing a personal conflict, but says he's very excited to run for the school board in the future.

Please visit to learn more about me, why I am running and what my primary goals are as a future board member. Thanks!Lawrence Sanders, Sr.

I'm excited to report that Mark Dorosin (former Carrboro Alderperson) filed to run in District 1 today! We now have two very strong challengers who present a different direction and style of leadership from Pam Hemminger and the rest of the incumbent  Commissioners. 

It's not obvious to me why you are targeting Pam or any single one of the commissioners for poor leadership. We've seen a strong leader like Mike Nelson fail to make any impact on the culture of the BOCC which means, to me, that there is a systemic problem rather than one associated with any single individual.Personally, I believe that Pam serves a vital role on the BOCC and I would hate to see her replaced. With the departure of Valerie Foushee, Pam is the commissioner with the deepest understanding of the educational issues facing this community. As Mark Dorosin points out in his candidacy annoucement, the rate of povery in Orange County is inexcusable. The way out of povery is through education. 

I've been to a good number of BOCC meetings and heard them consider a number of inportant planning issues. It was obvious that Pam either didn't read her meeting packet or simply was unable to understand the issues. She rarely spoke a word. You had to be there.

Candidate filing closed at noon today. Looking over the list of candidates, it seems that NC District 50 and County Commissioner District 1 and District 2 are going to be the races to watch this spring!


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