local elections matter 2019

By Jim Buchanan

and Dave Russell


Filing opens Monday at noon for most candidates who will appear on ballots in Jackson County.

Most, but not all.

A three-judge panel last Thursday filed an order delaying candidate filing for North Carolina congressional seats while they determine whether replacement districts drawn by the General Assembly can be used in next year’s election. 

On Dec. 2, the day filing for all other races begins, the panel of state judges will hold a hearing on whether a lawsuit filed by voters challenging previous lines should end because of the new map. Election officials have said the congressional primary could be held with other races on March 3 if a final map is in place by Dec. 15. From the top down, here are incumbents likely to be on the local ballot:

Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper and the entire council of state are up for reelection.

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, a Republican, is up for reelection, as is fellow GOP member and 11th Congressional District Rep. Mark Meadows. 

Jim Davis, R-Macon, who has represented North Carolina’s 50th State Senate District since 2010, has announced his retirement, leaving the seat open for a new face.

Incumbent Democrat Joe Sam Queen, D-Haywood, in N.C. State House District 119 is running for a new term. Swain Republican Mike Clampitt, who has faced Queen the last four elections, has indicated he’s ready for another run. Republican Jackson County Commissioner Ron Mau has also announced he’ll run for the seat.

The county commission has two seats on the ballot – Republican Mickey Luker’s District 4 seat and Mau’s vacated seat in District 3.

Two seats on the Jackson County Board of Education – Wes Jamison in District 3 and Elizabeth Cooper in District 1, are open. Both of these races are nonpartisan. The primary serves as the general election for school board races.

The nonpartisan seat of Soil and Water Conservation District officer Randy Cabe is open.

In judicial races, District Court judges Tessa Sellers, Monica Leslie and Rick Walker are up for reelection.

As of Nov. 23, the breakdown of voter registration in Jackson by party was as follows: 10,263 unaffiliated; 9,254 Democratic; 7,422 Republican; 189 Libertarian; nine Green; and four Constitution.

A complete listing of all state and local officials can be downloaded at www.nc.gov/government/nc-government. The Jackson County Board of Election Twitter feed (@JCNCElections) has updated information on candidate filings daily during election season.

The filing period ends at noon on Friday, Dec. 20.