ROCKINGHAM — One more Republican joined the race for the Richmond County Board of Commissioners and another school board incumbent also filed for reelection.
According to records with the Richmond County Board of Elections, Danny Pearson became the fourth Republican to file for the county’s governing board.
Former Richmond County Airport manager Jason Gainey filed on Monday and incumbent Commissioners Justin Dawkins and Rick Watkins have also filed.
Watkins switched his affiliation from the Democratic Party prior to the filing period originally opening in December.
If one more Republican files, it will set up a party primary for the commissioners’ race.
There will already be a Democratic primary, pitting Commissioners Don Bryant and Tavares Bostic against challengers Michael Legrand, Linda Ross and Hamlet Councilwoman Abbie Covington.
The top four vote-getters from each party will be on the November ballot.
Three other would-be candidates are hoping to be on there as well, with Bryan Stanback, Joe Ward and former Hamlet Councilman Johnathan Buie collecting signatures.
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.
Another petitioning candidate, Ashley Brower, is running against Vickie Daniel for Clerk of Superior Court. As of last Thursday, Kelly said Brower had turned in around 800 signatures. Since starting the process, Brower switched to the Republican Party from being unaffiliated, but is still going through with collecting names.
Daryl Mason, who is currently on the Richmond County Board of Education, also filed on Tuesday, joining Joe Richardson and Bobbie Sue Ormsby.
The remaining opening seat is held by Pat Campbell. However, a family member told the RO on Monday that Campbell doesn’t plan to file due to health issues.
There are also five challengers in the school board race: former educator Cory Satterfield; Ellerbe Commissioner Jeremy McKenzie; Bess Schuler; Eddie Rainwater; and Scotty Baldwin.
That election is a non-partisan race and will be held May 17, the same day as the primaries.
The race for Richmond County Sheriff will also be on the ballot for the Democratic primary, as former NYPD officer Nigel Bristow has filed to challenge Sheriff Mark Gulledge.
The Republicans will also have a primary for the N.C. House of Representatives, as district maps drawn by the General Assembly pit Richmond County’s Ben Moss against Moore County’s Jamie Boles for the new House District 52.
No Democrats or Libertarians have filed for the seat, according to records with the N.C. State Board of Elections.
District Court Judge Chevonne Wallace and District Attorney Reece Saunders, both Democrats, are unopposed, as is state Sen. Dave Craven, R-Randolph, for the District 29 Senate seat.
Filing ends at noon Friday, March 4.