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Partisan races for 2024 election set

Partisan races for 2024 election set

North Carolina’s candidate filing period for the 2024 General Election ended last week, and after a slow start, a flurry of Western North Carolina candidates have qualified for federal, state and local races. 

First-term Congressman Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson) has filed for reelection, as has Hayesville Republican Christian Reagan. A Buncombe County state legislator, Democrat Caleb Rudow, also filed.

Incumbent District 43 judges Justin Greene (D-Swain), Monica Hayes Leslie (D-Haywood) and Kaleb Wingate (R-Haywood) have filed to retain their seats and drew no challengers. Virginia Hornsby (R-Macon) has also filed, and will face Jackson County Republican Andy Buckner in the Primary Election.  

Sen. Kevin Corbin (R-Macon) and Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) both filed for their seats, and neither will face Primary Election opposition. In the General Election, Hise will face Avery County Democrat Frank Hughes III, while Corbin will face Jackson County Democrat Adam Tebrugge.

Rep. Mark Pless (R-Haywood) is uncontested in the Primary Election for House District 118 but will face Democrat Evelyn Davidson of Madison County.

In District 119, Rep. Mike Clampitt (R-Swain) also gets to take the Primary season off but come November he’ll face Brevard Democrat Mark R. Burrows.

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House Majority Whip Karl Gillespie (R-Macon) has filed for his District 120 House seat, as has Andrews Democrat Nancy Curtis.

On the Haywood County Board of Commissioners, incumbent Republicans Kevin Ensley and Brandon Rogers drew no primary challengers. Waynesville Democrat Tausha Forney will challenge them in November; Democrats could have fielded two candidates without having to hold a Primary Election, but apparently found no takers.

In Jackson County, there are two seats up for election on the county commission representing districts three and four. Those seats are currently held by Tom Stribling and Mark Jones respectively, neither of whom have filed for reelection. Four candidates have filed for the race, but with one Republican and one Democrat filing for each seat, none of the candidates will face competition in the Primary Election.

District three includes the Cullowhee, Webster and Savannah precincts, and while candidates must live within the boundaries of the district, all Jackson County voters help choose the winner. District four covers the southern end of the county, including Cashiers and Canada.

In district three, Democrat Cody Lewis has filed to run against Republican Jenny Lynn Hooper. Lewis ran in the Democratic Primary Election for district three’s county commission seat in 2020 but lost to Susan Bogardus. Hooper currently serves as a member at large on the Jackson County GOP Executive Committee.

In district four, Democrat Sally Jennings Hudson has filed to run and will face Republican Michael Jennings in the November election.

There are two seats up for election on the Jackson County Board of Education, currently held by Wes Jamison and Elizabeth Cooper, board chair. Only Jamison has filed for reelection. With the board of education, a non-partisan race, there will be no primary contest.

Jamison will face Clint Irons in the General Election to represent district three on the school board. In district one, previous County Commissioner Gayle Woody will face off against Rainy Brake.

In Macon County, there will be two seats up for election on the county commission. Both incumbents Josh Young and Paul Higdon have filed for reelection. In district two, Chris Browning has filed to run against Young, and in district three, Barry Breeden has filed to run against Higdon.

Because both incumbents and their challengers are Republican, the race for both commission seats will be settled in the Primary Election this spring.

In Swain County, three candidates will vie for two county commission seats. Republican Kenneth Parton will run as an incumbent; however, longtime commissioner and current Vice Chair Roger Parsons did not file to run. Facing off against Parton are two other Republicans, Tanner Lawson and Eric Watson. Because all three candidates are from the same party, there will be no General Election contest.

Candidate filing continues through noon on Dec. 15. The 2024 Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, March 5. The deadline to register to vote in the 2024 Primary Election is Friday, Feb. 9. For more information, visit .

— SMN Staff

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