More file for office
As the Feb. 28 filing deadline nears, more have stepped forward to serve the public in an elected capacity.
Incumbent Republican Sen. Jim Davis of Franklin filed for re-election to the 50th senate district, which includes Haywood, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, Swain and Transylvania counties.
Davis has no primary opposition so far, but there will be a Democratic primary race between Ron Robinson of Sylva and Jane Hipps of Waynesville.
Davis, an orthodontist and former county commissioner, said he wants to continue working to create jobs, improve public education and streamline state government.
First elected in 2010, Davis was part of the team that passed the largest tax cut in state history, approved proven reforms to public schools, turned a $2.5 billion budget deficit into a surplus and blocked Obamacare’s expansion in North Carolina.
Robinson is campaigning on several issues, including support for education, better health care and better jobs.
In announcing his candidacy, Robinson said he expects to be held accountable for supporting counties by using middle of the road, common sense solutions for children having more and better-paid teachers in their schools, more neighbors having jobs that pay the bills and more families able to see a doctor.
Hipps spent 38 years in public education and said she is running for the senate seat to address the adverse impacts to education at all levels thats happened in the state.
"It is time that we in western North Carolina join together and rebuild the public education program in this great state," she said. "Let’s pay our teachers a winning wage. Let’s reward those who seek advanced certification and degrees. And, let’s get back to the business of building a better North Carolina.”
N.C. Democratic Rep. Joe Sam Queen also filed for re-election to House District 119, which encompasses portions of Haywood County, along with Jackson and Swain. Queen has long championed education, health and increased jobs in the region. He is facing Bryson City resident Mike Clampitt, a Republican and retired fireman, who he defeated in 2012.
The 119th District includes Jackson and Swain counties, along with five Waynesville precincts, as well as the Allens Creek, Hazelwood, Iron Duff, Lake Junaluska and small part of Ivy Hill.
There will be an open seat for the 30th Judicial District Attorney post when long-time DA Mike Bonfoey steps down.
To date, Assistant District Attorney Ashley Welch of Franklin has filed on the Republican ticket for the job.
The 30th District includes Haywood, Macon, Swain, Clay, Cherokee, Graham and Jackson counties.
Welch has been a North Carolina Assistant District Attorney for more than a decade and has been in the 30th District since May of 2005. She touts a strong record of successful prosecutions and is currently assigned to prosecute major felony cases in the seven counties of the district.
District court judges
The three incumbent district court judges, Donna Forga, Kristina Earwood and Roy Wijewikrama, have all filed to run again for the posts.
All three were first elected in 2010 in the nonpartisan race.
County Tax Administrator David Francis filed for his fifth term and Commissioner Kirk Kirkpatrick filed for a fourth term.