Commissioner Paul Higdon plans to run for another term and Commission Chairman Kevin Corbin’s seat is up for grabs since he has filed to run for the House of Representatives District 120.
Democrat Bobby Kuppers has signed up to run for the District 3 commissioner seat currently occupied by Higdon, a Republican. Kuppers, a Franklin High School teacher and football coach, served as the District 3 commissioner for one term before being ousted by Higdon — during the 2012 election. Kuppers departure left only one Democrat on the board — Commissioner Ronnie Beale.
Higdon, a water and sewer contractor and small business owner, ran on a platform of fewer regulations, less taxes and more efficient government. Even though he was elected with 57 percent of the vote, Higdon has often been the lone vote of opposition on the board the last few years when it comes to spending.
Even though he’s been out of office for four years, Kuppers said he’s stayed tuned in to the issues facing the county and wants to be a part of the discussion. As a teacher, he feels his input could be beneficial, especially as the county is looking to invest more money in school renovations soon.
So far, only one candidate has signed up to run for Corbin’s District 2 seat — Karl E. Gillespie. This is the first time Gillespie has sought elected office, but he is no stranger to service in Macon County.
“I think there’s a time and place for everything — long story short, I’m a native of Macon County and Macon County has been very good to me and this is another opportunity for me to give back to the community,” he said.
Gillespie is the president of National Communications, Inc., a company he founded in 1999, and he was recently appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory to serve on the Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees. He also serves on the Macon County Planning Board and is the president of the Macon County Farm Bureau. He said his proudest service is to the First United Methodist Church in Franklin. Though running as a Republican, Gillespie said he didn’t have any particular platforms in mind.
“I would work toward making sure that Macon County is a place that affords the same or better opportunities than I had for future generations,” he said.
Candidates can file for office until noon Monday, Dec. 21, at the Macon County Board of Elections office.