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Election filing closes with 14 candidates on primary ballots, 3 petitioning for Richmond County Board of Commissioners

RO file photo

ROCKINGHAM — Before election filing closed at noon Friday, two more candidates threw their proverbial hats in the ring for the Richmond County Board of Commissioners.

Republicans Robin Roberts and Thomas Davenport both filed, according to records with the Richmond County Board of Elections, and Kevin Clark filed as a Democrat on Thursday.

Roberts is well-known in the community as the manager of Hudson Brothers Deli and the local “band mother.” She is also president of VFW Post 4203 Auxiliary and was recently named president of the Rockingham Downtown Corporation.

Davenport attempted to run as an independent in 2020 but failed to obtain the required number of signatures.

For the primaries on May 17, both Republican and Democratic voters will have to narrow down the fields of seven candidates to four from each party who will be featured on the ballot in November.

Joining Davenport and Roberts on the Republican ballot will be incumbents Justin Dawkins and Rick Watkins and fellow challengers Karen Everett, Jason Gainey and Danny Pearson.

In addition to Clark, the Democratic ballot will comprise incumbents Don Bryant and Tavares Bostic, as well as Abbie Covington, Tyrannia Ellerbe, Michael Legrand and Linda Ross.

There are also three unaffiliated candidates trying, as Davenport previously did, to get on the ballot by collecting signatures: Bryan Stanback, Joe Ward and Johnathan Buie.

Petitioners will have to solicit 1,094 valid signatures from Richmond County voters by May 17 to be on the ballot, according to Elections Director Connie Kelly. If they succeed, they will then have to pay the filing fee.

As of Thursday, the only petitioning candidate to turn in any signatures was Ashely Brower, who is challenging Vickie Daniel for clerk of Superior Court. At the time, she had turned in 795 valid signatures, according to Kelly.

Brower had originally started the process unaffiliated but has since switched her registration to the Republican Party.


Another candidate, Mike Adriani of Fayetteville, filed to run for the new 9th Congressional District on Thursday, according to records with the N.C. State Board of Elections.

The RO on Friday afternoon could find no campaign website or other information online about Adriani.

Adriani, along with Francisco Rios of Charlotte and Jen Bucardo of Asheboro, are challenging incumbent Rep. Richard Hudson for the seat.

Hudson, who has represented Richmond County in the past, and Rios both live outside the district, which comprises Scotland, Hoke, Lee, Chatham and Randolph counties in addition to northwest Cumberland, western Harnett and a sliver of eastern Richmond.

The U.S. Constitution allows for members of the U.S. House of Representatives to not live in the district they represent. During a special election several years ago for the 9th District, half of the 10 Republicans in the primary were outside the district.

The winner of the primary will go on to face current state Sen. Ben Clark, D-Hoke.

Rep. Dan Bishop remains unopposed — from his own party and the Democratic or Libertarian parties — for the District 8 seat.

The 8th District includes the western two-thirds of Richmond, Anson, Union, Montgomery, Stanly, Davidson, Rowan and eastern Cabarrus.


Since the RO last reported on Wednesday, five more candidates have joined the race for U.S. Sentate, hoping to get elected to the seat being vacated by Sen. Richard Burr. This brings the total number of candidates to 26.

Republicans Marjorie Eastman of Wake Forest and David Flaherty of Cameron filed Thursday and Debora Tshiovo filed on Friday, according to state election records.

The Republican field includes former Gov. Pat McCrory, U.S. Rep. Ted Budd and former Congressman Mark Walker. Although the three have been considered “front-runners” for months, records show McCrory filed last Friday, Budd on Monday and Walker on Wednesday.

McCrory and Walker debated against Eastman last weekend at the Carolina Liberty Conference hosted by the John Locke Foundation. Budd was invited but did not attend.


Other Republican candidates are: Jen Banwart of Holly Springs; Lee Brian of Clayton; Benjamin Griffiths of Cleveland; Charles Kenneth Moss of Randleman; Lichia Sibhatu of Raleigh; Drew Bulecza of Lincolnton; Leonard Bryant of Fayetteville; and Kenneth Harper Jr. of Fayetteville.

State records show B. K. Maginnis of Charlotte filed Thursday and Robert Colon of Wilmington filed Friday to run as Democrats.

The other Democratic candidates include former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, as well as: Constance Johnston of Charlotte; Rett Newton of Beaufort; Chrelle Booker of Columbus; Greg Antoine of Fayetteville; Alyssia Rose-Katherine Hammond of Raleigh; Tobias LaGrone of Greensboro; Marcus Williams of Lumberton; and James Carr of Harrisburg.

One Libertarian, Shannon Bray of Apex, has filed for the Senate race.


In other filing news, Mount Gilead Democrat Brooke Crump, an attorney, filed to run against Randolph County Republican Dave Craven for the District 29 Senate seat.

The district includes all of Richmond, Montgomery and Anson counties, along with the eastern half (cut diagonally) of Union and about 3/4 of Randolph.

Sen. Tom McInnis, who currently represents Richmond County, changed his residency to Moore County to run in Senate District 21, which comprises Moore and northwestern Cumberland County. He is running unopposed in the primary and will face Aberdeen Democrat Frank McNeill in November, state records show.

The N.C. House District 52 race will be decided in the primary between Richmond County’s Ben Moss and Moore County’s Jamie Boles, both sitting Republicans who were double-bunked in the latest district map. No other candidates from the other two recognized parties filed for that race.

Boles’ current District 52 comprises about two-thirds of Moore County, while Moss represents Richmond and Montgomery counties and a sliver of northeastern Stanly County.

The new district is all of Richmond and southeastern Moore.

For as long as most can remember, the House delegate representing Richmond County has been from the county.

Eight candidates, including three incumbents are vying for four seats on the Richmond County Board of Education: incumbents Joe Richardson, Bobbie Sue Ormsby, and Daryl Mason; and challengers Cory Satterfield, Scotty Baldwin, Bess Shuler, Eddie Rainwater and Jeremy McKenzie.

School Board member Pat Campbell, who has been facing health issues, did not file for reelection.

The school board election will be the same day as the primary.

The Democratic primary will also have two candidates in the contest for Richmond County sheriff: current office holder Mark Gulledge, who was appointed last August following the unexpected death of Sheriff James E. Clemmons Jr.; and former New York officer Nigel Bristow.

Kelly told the RO Wednesday that another potential candidate, Joe Cagle, will be collecting signatures to get on the November ballot for sheriff.

District Court Judge Chevonne Wallace and District Attorney Reece Saunders, both Democrats, remain unopposed in their respective races.


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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.