Two challengers but no incumbents had filed as of noon Thursday for one of two available seats on the Columbus County Board of Education in the November general election. A third challenger also filed Monday for one of those seats, but it has been determined that he does not live in the district for which he filed and will not appear on the ballot.
Candidate filing for the county school board got underway June 19 and continues through noon on Aug. 3.
Joesph Karl Bracey of Lake Waccamaw filed June 19 for the District 1 seat now held by incumbent Randy Coleman, who is finishing his first term on the board of education. Pamela Young Jacobs of Bolton filed for the same seat Wednesday.
In District 5, longtime board of education member Junior Dew, who has also served as a county commissioner, has not filed for re-election. No challengers have filed for that seat either. Michael J. Pease of Clarendon filed Monday for Dew’s seat, but the county schools and county GIS office determined that he lives in District 4, which is represented by Worley Edwards. That seat won’t be on the ballot until 2022.
Although candidates for the county board of education run from specific districts, they are voted on countywide instead of only by voters in their districts.
Filing for the Whiteville City Board of Education begins at noon on July 13 and continues through noon on Aug. 10. Kandle Rogers is up for re-election in District 3, while Greg Merritt is up for re-election in District 4.
The candidate filing fee for both boards of education is $61.
Patrick Lovette of Tabor City is the only candidate who has filed for one available seat on the county Soil and Water Conservation Board of Supervisors. Filing began June 8 and continues through July 6 at noon. The candidate filing fee for that post is $5.
In other elections news, the county Board of Elections met Monday but took no specific actions. During the public input portion of the meeting, Marlando Pridgen urged the board to schedule Sunday voting hours during one-stop early voting for the November general election. County Democratic Party Chair Franklin Thurman asked the board to consider reopening Fair Bluff as a one-stop site for November’s election. Fair Bluff was not used in last year’s general election as a cost-cutting measure because of low early voter turnout there in previous years.
The elections board also received information from the State Board of Elections that Columbus County is expected to receive $105,029 in state funds under House Bill 1169, which – among other things – provides money to help counties deal with expenses related to COVID-19.