Candidates for commissioner, sheriff, school board, clerk first to file

Published 10:35 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2018

COLUMBUS-Polk County had seven candidates officially file at the noon start time Monday, Feb. 12 to run for county commissioner, sheriff, school board and clerk of court.

Filing began at noon Monday with incumbent Polk County Commissioner Tommy Melton (R) the first to file his candidacy. Also filing at noon were incumbent Polk County Commissioner Ray Gasperson (D), Carolyn Ashburn (D) for Polk County Commissioner, B.J. Bayne (D) for Polk County Sheriff, Darryl Bailey (R) for Polk County Sheriff, incumbent Pam Hyder for Polk County Clerk of Court and Michael Ashworth for Polk County School Board-Tryon Township.

Filing after noon on Monday was Ronnie Smith (D), who filed for Polk County Sheriff and incumbent Geoffrey Tennant for Polk County School Board-Columbus Township.

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Filing will continue through Feb. 28 at noon. County candidates can file at the Polk County Board of Elections Office, located on the second floor of the Womack building in Columbus. The office is open from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

There are three open seats on the Polk County Board of Commissioners this year, including the current seats of Shane Bradley, Gasperson and Melton.

The seat of Polk County Sheriff Donald Hill (D) is up for re-election as well as the seat of clerk of court, held by Hyder.

There are four Polk County Board of Education seats open this year, including one for the Columbus Township, one for Coopers Gap Township, one for Green Creek Township and one for Tryon Township. Board of education members run unaffiliated.

Other seats up for re-election this year include the District Attorney for District 29B, which includes Polk, Henderson and Transylvania counties. The current district attorney is Greg Newman (R).

Soil and water conservation supervisor will also have two seats available this year but candidates do not file for those seats until June.

If enough people file for commissioner, sheriff and/or clerk of court, there will be a local primary held in May.

A primary will not be held for the board of education no matter the number of candidates because those candidates run non-partisan.

The primary election is scheduled for May 8. Early voting for the primary will begin on April 19 and end on May 5.

The general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6 with early voting from Oct. 18-Nov. 3.

For more information about the upcoming election, call the Polk County Board of Elections Office at 828-894-8181 or visit