Seay no longer school board candidate

Published 8:56 pm Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Polk County Board of Elections Office discovered this week that Kevin Seay is not eligible to run as a candidate for the Coopers Gap Township seat of the Polk County Board of Education because he resides in the White Oak Township.
The error was discovered on Wednesday, March 12.
“During a routine audit of the 2014 general election (November ballot), our office discovered an error on Mr. Kevin C. Seay’s notice of candidacy which was signed by Mr. Seay,” says a statement from Tracy Waters, Polk County Board of Elections Director and David Moore, Polk County Board of Elections Chair. “The notice of the candidacy indicates that he lives in the White Oak school district, therefore by residency he is ineligible to run for the Coopers Gap school board seat currently up for election.
“We apologize for any difficulty or inconvenience this has caused Mr. Seay. Our office strives to serve the needs of Polk County citizens to the best of our ability all the time. The Polk County Board of Elections looks forward to a successful election season.”
Seay said he is upset about the error mainly because Coopers Gap now has no one to challenge the seat. He said he brought up his residency on four occasions to the elections’ office because he has a Saluda address. Living on Holberts Cove Road, Seay said his residency is in a gray area of the county.
Seay said the timing is unfortunate because the discovery came after the final filing deadline, which was on Feb. 28.
“I don’t understand why they couldn’t extend the filing date since it was their fault,” Seay said.
Someone from Coopers Gap can still run as a write-in candidate. Waters said if someone decides to announce their candidacy as a write-in candidate they will have to come to the Polk County Board of Elections Office to fill out campaign finance documents and have voters write their name in on the ballot. There is no filing fee to be write-in candidate. Others who filed during the filing period paid a $5 filing fee, which Waters said the elections’ office will refund to Seay.
Seay can file to run for the White Oak seat of the board of education when it is up for re-election in 2016.
There are four seats up for re-election on the school board this year including the Coopers Gap seat, the Columbus seat, the Green Creek seat and one Tryon seat.
Incumbent Geoffrey Tennant is being challenged by T. Paul Beiler for the Columbus Township seat; incumbent Sherry Page is being challenged by Jeff Weaver for the Green Creek Township seat; Patrick D. Overholt and Jim Patterson are running for the Tryon Township seat, currently held by James Cowan who did not seek re-election this year and now, incumbent Judy Jackson will run unopposed for the Coopers Gap Township seat if no one campaigns as a write-in.
Seay said if he had known he wasn’t eligible he would have found someone else to run for the Coopers Gap seat.
This year’s local election will include a primary for both the Democrat and Republican races of the Polk County Board of Commissioners but no other local races require a primary. The primary is scheduled for May 6, with early voting beginning on April 24. The last day to register to vote for the primary is April 11. Registering to vote during early voting is no longer available in North Carolina, so in order to participate in the primary this year potential voters must register at the Polk County Board of Elections Office in Columbus by April 11. Another registration deadline will be available prior to the Nov. 4 general election.
There are three seats available this year for the Polk County Board of Commissioners with incumbents Ray Gasperson (D), Keith Holbert (R) and Ted Owens (R) being challenged by Shane Bradley (R), Kenneth Brady (D), Bill Ingham (D), Jake Johnson (R) and Lee Mink (D).
The primary will narrow the candidates to three from each political party.
Other races include for Polk County Sheriff, with current sheriff Donald Hill (D) being challenged by Pat Staggs (R). The office of Polk County Clerk of Court is also up this year with Pam Hyder (D) filing for re-election unopposed.

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