Last updated: February 07. 2014 3:49PM - 763 Views
By - tjoyce@civitasmedia.com



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DOBSON — It might not resemble Grand Central Station, but the Surry County Board of Elections likely will be a busy place Monday when the candidates’ filing period opens for about a dozen seats.


Filing gets under way at noon that day in Dobson for county elected offices including sheriff, commissioner, clerk of court and school board. Also involved are state Senate and House of Representatives seats covering Surry County.


The filing period closes at noon on Feb. 28, and Surry elections personnel are expecting a lot of business in the interim.


“Normally your first day (of filing) and your last day are going to be the busiest,” county Elections Director Susan Jarrell said in anticipation of Monday’s opening. But the staff at her office is poised to respond, Jarrell added.


“We are ready.”


Candidates for county and state legislative offices will file at the elections office, located on the lower level of the Surry County Judicial Center/Courthouse on Kapp Street. It is open on weekdays until 5 p.m.


Offices Available

The office of sheriff is now held by Democrat Graham Atkinson, who said recently he intends to seek another term. A candidate must pay $582 to run for sheriff.


• In addition, this year’s election schedule affects three seats on the Surry County Board of Commissioners. Included are a Mount Airy District seat now held by Larry Phillips, that of Central District Commissioner Buck Golding and the South District seat held by Eddie Harris.


The seat held by Phillips covers Mount Airy precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. The Central District seat occupied by Golding includes the Dobson 1, 2 and 3; Franklin; Eldora and Stewarts Creek 1 and 2 election districts. The South District seat presently filled by Harris is made up of the Bryan; Elkin 1, 2 and 3; Marsh; and Rockford districts.


Since partisan offices are involved, more than one candidate of the same party filing for a seat will require a spring primary to select a nominee for the November general election. Phillips, Golding and Harris are all Republicans.


The filing fee for commissioner is $75.


• Three seats on the non-partisan Surry County Board of Education also are at stake, now held by Sue Stone of District 2, Earlie Coe (District 3) and Brian Gates (District 4).


District 2 includes the Eldora, Longhill, Pilot 1 and 2, North Westfield and South Westfield precincts, while District 3 covers Rockford, Shoals and Siloam. The District 4 seat represents the Dobson 1, 2 and 3; Marsh; and Stewarts Creek 1 and 2 election districts.


School board candidates pay only $5 to file.


• The filing period additionally affects Surry County Clerk of Court Rebecca Brendle, who was appointed to that post after the 2012 retirement of Pam Marion and is now up for re-election. Brendle is a Democrat. The filing fee for clerk is $834.


• State legislative offices for which candidates can file Monday include the 30th District Senate seat now held by Shirley Randleman and the 90th District House seat of Rep. Sarah Stevens. Randleman earlier declared her intentions to seek another term.


Filing for either of the two state legislative offices will cost $207. The 90th House District includes Surry and Wilkes counties and the 30th Senate District covers Surry, Stokes and Wilkes counties.


• Candidates also can file beginning Monday for the non-partisan Elkin Board of Education, with two City District seats and one West District seat involved, now held by Stewart Roten, James Freeman and J. Foley Norman. The fee is $5. The filing period for Elkin school board seats will not end until Aug. 4 at noon, according to information from the Surry County Board of Elections website.


Jarrell said the filing process usually takes at least a half-hour, the bulk of which is required for completing paperwork to set up campaign finance accounts for candidates.


Raleigh Filings

In addition to offices previously mentioned for which candidate filings will occur in Dobson are local positions that require a trip to Raleigh to sign up or doing so by mail.


This affects Surry County District Attorney Ricky Bowman, who also represents Stokes County and is up for re-election this year, as are local District Court judges Spencer Key, Chuck Neaves and Angela Puckett.


The filing fee is $1,107 for judgeships and $1,207 for district attorney.


Next week’s filing period opening will be the first stanza in what Jarrell says will be the busiest election year ever in Surry, including about 30 offices altogether. The main factor for that is the addition of municipal elections this year in Dobson and Pilot Mountain, which have been held in odd years in the past.


That added six mayor and commissioner seats to the mix, for which the filing period will begin in July.


Also filing then will be candidates for the Mount Airy Board of Education and two Surry Soil and Water Conservation supervisor slots.


Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-719-1924 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.


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