Items from across the Triad and beyond
Federal judge to weigh injunction for county commissioners map case
A federal judge for the Middle District of North Carolina set a preliminary injunction hearing for Friday at 2 p.m. in a NAACP lawsuit against the Guilford County Commission redistricting map, which the plaintiffs argued is unconstitutional. The judge said he would consider a temporary injunction on Friday as well if necessary, but for now, filing for the county Commission will proceed, said Guilford County Elections Director George Gilbert, who attended the hearing.
The judge said part of the issue boiled down to whether the new commissioners map violated state statutes rather than the Constitution and federal law, limiting his authority to rule on the case or enforce an order. — EG
Candidates file, announce intention to run (or not)
Monday saw a flurry of activity as the Guilford and Forsyth county boards of elections opened filing for a number of races affecting the Triad at noon.
Perhaps the most surprising development was who announced he would not run. Skip Alston, the Democratic chairman of the Guilford County Commission, said he will not seek reelection, leaving his minority-majority district in south and east Greensboro open to new representation. Alston served on the commission for 20 years and became the first African American to serve as chairman in 2002. Alston would have been considered safe in his district, but the Republicancontrolled General Assembly redrew district lines to give their party more ability to compete in two districts, threatening Democratic domination.
Alston said in a prepared statement that he succeeded in “promoting diverse and inclusive government,” along with “greater civility” to county government.
Guilford County Commissioner Billy Yow held a press conference on Monday to announce his run against Howard Coble, a fellow Republican, for the 6th Congressional district, emphasizing his connection to everyday residents, focus on small business and opposition to “Obamacare” and regulation. for veterans and his military experience.
“This time we have more of a fair process,” he said. “We can’t hand over seats to our friends. This time it will be the people deciding.”
Republican Don Wendelken, who has run before for the District 3 commissioner seat but is running in the new District 5 due to redistricting, said he is a fiscal conservative trying “The pillar of America is small business,” Yow said. “I am for the people; I am the people.”
Elisabeth Motsinger, a Democrat, has announced that she will challenge Republican incumbent Virginia Foxx in the 5th congressional district.
“What I’m really interested in doing is developing a sense of community amongst the 5th district where we can have important conversations about who it is we want to be as a people so we can represent that voice,” Motsinger told YES! Weekly in January.
Incumbents and familiar challengers alike waited to fill out paperwork in the first hour of filing, including Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen, a Democrat, who said he now files as early as possible because he used to wait until nearly the last minute.
District 1 County Commissioner Bruce Davis, whose term expires in to bring some sanity to the commission. A former Marine, Wendelken runs Corporate Accommodations with his wife.
Democrat Paul Gibson, who currently serves at large, said he plans to run in District 5, and Guilford County Republican Party Chairman Mike Picarelli has also expressed interest in the seat.
County Commissioner Kirk Perkins, a Democrat, filed for reelection in District 4.
Rebecca Buffington, the PTA president at Page High School, filed to run for District 7 on the school board after incumbent Kris Cooke said she wouldn’t run and encouraged Buffington to file, she said. Buffington has been an advocate in the school system for 15 years and said she would focus on catching children’s issues early and providing educational choices to students.
Sal Leone, who ran for 2014, filed to run in the Democratic primary for NC Senate District 28. Davis expects incumbent Gladys Robinson to seek reelection, and said he Greensboro City Council at large in 2011, filed to run for the Republican primary for the new NC Senate District 27, as did Justin differs from her particularly around his advocacy Conrad, owner of Libby Hill Seafood, and Latimer Alexander IV, who serves on the High Point City Council. Greensboro City Councilwoman Trudy Wade, also a Republican, has indicated she plans to file for the seat.
Democrat Pricey Harrison filed in NC House District 57. Maggie Jeffus, a Democrat who is currently serving in the House, also resides in the district. Democrat Alma Adams filed in House District 58. Republican Jon Hardister, who ran against Harrison two years ago, filed for the open House District 59 seat. Republicans John Faircloth and John Blust filed for reelection for their respective House districts, 61 and 62.
Darlene Garrett filed for reelection in District 3 on the Guilford County School Board.
In Forsyth County, Winston-Salem City Councilman James Taylor Jr., a Democrat, filed for NC Senate District 32 seat. Linda Garrou, who currently holds the seat, was drawn into District 31, which is held by a powerful Republican, Pete Brunstetter.
Debra Conrad, a Republican Forsyth County commissioner, filed for NC House District 74. The seat is open because its current occupant, Dale Folwell, has announced his candidacy for the Republican primary for lieutenant governor.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board member Donny C. Lambeth has filed for the NC House District 75 seat. The seat’s current occupant, Bill McGee, has announced that he will not seek reelection.
Republican County Commissioner Bill Whiteheart has filed for House District 79, which covers all of Davie County and the western tip of Forsyth County. The district is currently represented by Julia Howard, a Republican from Mocksville.
Conrad, Whiteheart and Lambeth are all midway through four-year terms on their respective local boards, and will keep their seats if they prove unsuccessful at their quests for higher office.
Republican County Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt has filed for reelection in District B. Three seats are up for reelection in District B, which covers the suburban and rural areas surrounding Winston-Salem. Two other Republican candidates have also filed for District B: Mark Baker of Tobaccoville and Bob Prescott of Kernersville. Baker sought the atlarge seat on the commission two years ago, but was eliminated in the primary.
Karen Johnson Gordon, a Republican, filed for Forsyth County register of deeds. Johnson lost to the office’s current occupant, Democrat Norman Holleman, four years ago.