Only one county commissioner candidate files for 2016 race so far

Published 9:15 pm Thursday, December 10, 2015

By Leah Justice

Potential candidates for the 2016 election have a little over a week to file and so far only one candidate has filed for the Polk County Board of Commissioners.

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Jake Johnson (R) is the only candidate to file so far to run for county commissioner.

There have been two incumbent school members to file for re-election, Rick Covil of Tryon and Rhonda Corley of Saluda. Incumbent Polk County Registrar of Deeds Sheila Whitmire (R) has also filed for re-election with no challengers filing so far.

The seats of Covil, Corley and Cindy Allen of White Oak Township are up for re-election next year. School board members are non-partisan races and will not have a primary election no matter how many candidates file for each district.

There are three county commissioner seats up for re-election next year and if no incumbent files it could be the first year in at least the last 15 years no incumbents file for re-election. The seats of current commissioner chairman Tom Pack (R), current vice chairman Keith Holbert (R) and commissioner Michael Gage (R) are up for re-election next year.

The U.S. House of Representatives District 10, that includes Polk County has local candidate Andy Millard (D), of Polk County, challenging incumbent Congressman Patrick McHenry (R) so far. Millard and McHenry both filed in Raleigh recently for the seat. The U.S. House of Representatives 10th district includes the counties of Rutherford, Polk, Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln and Catawba as well as part of Buncombe County, including the City of Asheville.

North Carolina changed the filing dates this year from the regular February of the year of the election to December the year before the election.

The 2016 election will also include different primary election dates. The primary election will be on March 15, 2016 with the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The 2016 election will also be the first year voter ID is required to vote.

Filing for the election began on Dec. 1 and will continue until noon, Monday, Dec. 21. Candidates wishing to file will need to have all paperwork filed and fees paid by noon on Dec. 21.

Filing for the local election can be done at the Polk County Board of Elections Office, located on the second floor of the Womack building in Columbus Monday-Friday between 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.