ROCKINGHAM — Three more candidates entered state and local races in the upcoming 2022 election.
The first candidate at the Richmond County Board of Elections office Tuesday morning was state Rep. Ben Moss, R-Richmond.
While Moss is running for his second term in the N.C. House of Representatives, the district he represents will be different.
Moss currently serves House District 66, which, in addition to Richmond, also includes Montgomery County and a sliver of northeastern Stanly County.
However, new maps passed by the state earlier this year lump Richmond with part of Moore County — currently represented by Jamie Boles — to make the new District 52.
“It’s going to be a new district, but I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to represent Richmond County again and represent the people of Moore,” Moss told the RO Tuesday evening before providing a legislative update on the funding coming to Richmond County from the state budget.
Moss was elected to the seat in 2020— after serving a decade on the Richmond County Board of Commissioners — defeating former District Court judge Scott Brewer, a Democrat. Brewer had been appointed in 2019 by Gov. Roy Cooper to fill out the remainder of Ken Goodman’s term after Goodman was appointed to the N.C. Industrial Commission.
The House seat representing Richmond County has long been held by a Richmond County resident. Prior to Goodman, Wayne and the late Melanie Goodwin served a combined seven terms.
Moss is the first Republican to hold the seat.
Records with the N.C. State Board of Elections show Boles has not yet filed.
Richmond County is also in another Senate district.
While the current District 25, represented by Sen. Tom McInnis, comprises all of Richmond, Anson, Moore and Scotland counties, the new District 29 takes away Moore and Scotland counties and adds Montgomery, the western half of Randolph and southeastern Union.
Sen. Dave Craven, R-Randolph, filed to retain his seat on Tuesday, according to the Randolph County Board of Elections.
Craven was appointed in the summer of 2020 to fill out the remainder of the term vacated by the resignation of Sen. Jerry Tillman, and was elected to the seat last November.
McInnis — who switched his residency to Moore County to run for the new Senate District 21, which comprises Moore and most of Cumberland County — also filed Tuesday.
Candidates for the state House, Senate and U.S. House weren’t allowed to file Monday after a three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay due to legal challenges regarding the new maps.
However, that stay was overturned later in the day and will be heard by the full court, the Carolina Journal reported.
In the local races, current Ellerbe Town Commissioner Jeremy McKenzie filed to run for the Richmond County Board of Education.
McKenzie went live on Facebook Tuesday to announce his candidacy.
“I’m asking for your prayers, your support and your vote, that as we continue to hold the standard of excellence in Richmond County Schools that has been in existence in 1967,” McKenzie said, adding that he’s “standing on three principles: faith, family and community.”
McKenzie said that more information would be coming about his platform and himself, and asked to be invited to community events and churches.
First elected to the Ellerbe board in 2015, McKenzie won reelection in 2019.
McKenzie joins incumbent Bobbie Sue Ormsby and newcomer Scotty Baldwin in the school board race.
The four seats up for reelection are currently held by Ormsby, Pat Campbell, Daryl Mason and Joe Richardson.
Elections Director Connie Kelly said Tuesday that one other person had inquired about running for the Board of Education.
The county commissioners race also gained another candidate on Tuesday with the addition of Democrat Linda S. Ross of Rockingham.
Ross joins challenger Michael Legrand and incumbents Don Bryant and Justin Dawkins.
Legrand and Bryant are also Democrats while Dawkins is a Republican.
Bryant is currently serving his third term on the board.
Dawkins was appointed last year to fill out the remainder of Moss’ term and was reelected as vice chairman Tuesday evening.
Legrand ran in 2020 and lost to Andy Grooms by fewer than 85 votes after a recount.
There are two other seats on the board up for reelection, currently held by Tavares Bostic and Dr. Rick Watkins, both of whom were elected in 2018.
Watkins recently switched party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.
Former Hamlet City Councilman Johnathan Buie, who is unaffiliated, has filed a petition request form to run next November for the board.