Filing begins for May primaries: 25 file for sheriff, commission, school board

1 of 3

Bill Ward signs a form as part of the filing process to run for Pasquotank County sheriff in the May primary at the Pasquotank Board of Elections Office, Monday.


From staff reports

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Two-dozen candidates for sheriff, county commissioner, clerk of court and school board filed in area counties on Monday, the first day of filing for the May primaries.

Five candidates each filed in Pasquotank, Camden and Chowan counties, while seven filed in Currituck and three filed in Perquimans. 

At the Pasquotank Board of Elections Office, three candidates seeking to succeed Democratic Sheriff Randy Cartwright — who is not seeking re-election — were among the first to submit their filing documents and pay their filing fee.

Bill Ward, a 67-year-old lieutenant with the sheriff’s office, filed first. He was followed moments later by Eddie Graham, a 39-year-old sergeant with the Elizabeth City Police Department, and about 10 minutes later by Brent McKecuen, a 47-year-old lieutenant with the sheriff’s office. Ward is a registered Republican; Graham and McKecuen are registered Democrats.

Asked how his campaign is going so far, Ward said, "We're out shaking a lot of hands, pressing the flesh, talking to people and having a really good reception."

Graham said his campaign is already running at high speed, adding, "We're going to turn it up in the next few days" with some meet-and-greet events.

McKecuen said he and his committee are putting together different events and fundraisers.

Also filing in Pasquotank on Monday were two incumbent officeholders: Commissioner Joe Winslow, a 70-year-old Democrat who’s represented the Northern Outside district since 2010; and Clerk of Superior Court Kathy Cartwright, a 54-year-old Democrat who was appointed clerk in 2015 and will be seeking a four-year term.

In Camden County, Commissioners Clayton Riggs and Tom White, both Republicans, filed for re-election on Monday. Riggs, 59, is seeking a third consecutive term and what would be his fourth overall term on the Camden board. White, 73, is seeking a second four-year term.

In the contest for Camden sheriff, Chief Deputy Rodney Meads, 61, and state Highway Patrolman Kevin Jones, 55, both Republicans, filed to succeed Sheriff Tony Perry, who is not seeking re-election. Perry, a Democrat, has already endorsed Meads.

Also in Camden, Superior Court Clerk Paula Harrison, a 58-year-old Democrat, filed for a third four-year term.

In Chowan County, two candidates have filed for District 1, Seat 2 on the county Board of Commissioners. Jeff Smith, a Democrat, is running for re-election. Bob Kirby, a Republican, also filed for the seat.

John Mitchener, a Democrat, filed for re-election to his District 2, Seat 2 on the commission board. Also filing for re-election in Chowan were Mike McArthur, the county’s Democratic clerk of Superior Court, and Dwayne Goodwin, the county’s Democratic sheriff.

In Currituck, Chief Deputy Matt Beickert filed for sheriff as he seeks to succeed Sheriff Susan Johnson, who is not seeking re-election. Beickert, a Republican, has already been endorsed by Johnson, a Democrat.

Fred Whiteman, 52, a Republican and member of the Currituck Planning Board, filed for the District 5 seat on the Board of Commissioners. The seat is currently held by incumbent Commissioner Marion Gilbert.  

Two incumbent commissioners — Mike Hall, who holds an at-large seat, and Mike Payment, who represents District 3 — also filed on Monday. Both Hall, 58, and Payment, 53, are registered Republicans seeking re-election to second terms.

Also filing for re-election in Currituck on Monday were Clerk of Superior Court of Ray Matusko, a 52-year-old Republican, and Bill Dobney, the 69-year-old former Currituck schools superintendent who is seeking re-election to a third term on the non-partisan Currituck Board of Education.

Also filing for a school board seat was Josh Bass, the 34-year-old president of the Currituck Chamber of Commerce, Bass, who is registered unaffiliated, is making his first run for elective office. He did interview for an appointment to a vacant seat on the school board following the death of Jackie Simmons, but that seat went to Janet Rose.

Bass said he’s seeking election because he wants to work to improve the schools.

"I think the Currituck school system is a really good system, but I think there is room for improvement," he said.

Dobney, currently serving an eighth consecutive year as school board chairman, said he’s seeking re-election for two main reasons.

"One is to try to make sure we get some kind of expanded CTE (career and technical education) programs in our school system," Dobney said.

He said his other main goal is to make sure the school district gets the funding it needs.

In Perquimans, Sheriff Shelby White, a Democrat, filed for election to a four-year term. White, the sheriff’s department’s former chief investigator, was appointed sheriff by the Perquimans Board of Commissioners last year following the retirement of Sheriff Eric Tilley. 

Also filing were Clerk of Superior Court Todd Tilley and Perquimans Commissioner Fondella Leigh.