PITTSBORO — Early voting for the Nov. 8 statewide general election begins Oct. 20, and Chatham County’s ballot will be lengthy — with six major county-wide seats, two state legislative seats and the sheriff’s post among those being contested.
Key races on this year’s ballot include:
• U.S. Senate: Republican Congressman Ted Budd faces former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, a Democrat, and Libertarian candidate Shannon Bray, for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Richard Burr. Budd first won the 13th Congressional seat in 2017.
• U.S. House of Representatives, Dist. 9: Incumbent Richard Hudson Jr., a Republican, faces Democrat Ben Clark. Hudson, first elected to the Dist. 8 seat in 2013, is seeking North Carolina’s 9th congressional district seat after the 2020 census required the state to redraw its electoral districts and maps. Four of the counties Hudson represents moved into the 9th district, which now includes Chatham.
• N.C. Senate, Dist. 20: Incumbent Natalie Murdock of Durham, a Democrat newly representing Chatham County after redistricting, faces Republican Alvin Reed of Sanford. Murdock won office in 2020 to the seat of resigning Sen. Mickey Michaux, becoming the first Black woman under the age of 40 to serve in the state Senate. Reed, a software writer, describes himself as the author of “The Theory of Biblical Patterns,” which he says proves that a higher intelligence wrote Genesis 1:1.
• N.C. House, Dist. 54: This race pits veteran legislator Robert Reives II of Goldston, who’s held the seat since 2014, against Republican challenger Walter Petty.
Reives is the House Minority Leader in the N.C. General Assembly and has been re-elected four times. Petty, a long-time Chatham County commissioner first elected in 2010, resigned that seat in April 2019, citing the pressing time demands of his business, Atlantic Power Solutions.
• Chatham County Board of Commissioners, Dist. 3: This seat, being vacated by Democrat Diana Hales, will be contested between Democrat David Delaney, the vice president and assistant general counsel for cybersecurity and privacy for Truist Bank, and Republican Tom Glendinning, a former U.S. Marine who lost to Valerie Foushee in the 2020 race for state senate.
• Chatham County Board of Commissioners, Dist. 4: This seat is held now by Robert Logan, who once was the superintendent of Chatham County Schools. Logan was appointed to fill the term of former Commissioner Jim Crawford, who resigned the seat in December. On the ballot are native Chatham Countians Katie Kenlan, an educator, and Republican Joe Godfrey, a service operations supervisor at Siemens Industry.
• Chatham County Board of Commissioners, Dist. 5: Incumbent Democrat Franklin Gomez Flores faces Republican Peyton Moody. Gomez Flores beat Republican Andy Wilkie for the seat in 2020; Wilkie had been appointed to fill the unexpired seat of Walter Petty.
• Chatham County Sheriff: Incumbent Sheriff Mike Roberson, a Democrat, faces challenger Marcus Globuschutz, a Republican. Roberson was appointed to the position in May 2016, replacing the retiring Richard Webster, then won re-election in 2018.
The popular Roberson, who has increased the visibility and staffing of the office, has come under a steady stream of criticism, largely through social media, by Globuschutz, who has criticized Roberson’s administration for its handling of the county’s illicit drug trade and its administration of the new Animal Resource Center, among other things.
• Chatham County Board of Education, Dist. 3: Incumbent Democrat Del Turner, who’s held the seat since 2010, faces two challengers: Jessica Winger of Pittsboro and Clifford Stickney of Siler City. Winger, who has four children at Chatham County Schools, has been a vocal proponent of an optional school masking policy and actively advocated for a return to in-person learning while CCS was in a hybrid or remote learning schedule.
• Chatham County Board of Education, Dist. 4: Incumbent Jane Allen Wilson. Wilson doesn’t face opposition on the ballot, but was expected to be challenged in an organized write-in campaign by Wendy Copelan. Board of Elections Director Pandora Paschal told the News + Record that Copelan had stated to her she wasn’t going to pursue the write-in campaign; Copelan didn’t respond to an email message from the News + Record.
• Chatham County Board of Education, Dist. 5: Incumbent Gary Leonard, who is the board’s chairperson, faces Timothy Moore. Leonard, a former athletic director and coach at Chatham Central High School, was first elected in 2010. Moore, a Texas native and U.S. Army veteran, has joined Winger on campaigning for a “parents-first” approach to board policy-making.
The board of education seats are nonpartisan; there were no primaries for these seats in May.
Other seats on the general election ballot include two on the N.C. Supreme Court, four on the N.C. Court of Appeals, one on the N.C. Superior Court, and the uncontested District Attorney and Chatham County Clerk of Superior Court seats, as well as the Chatham County Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor.
Other key dates include:
• Sept. 9: absentee ballots available
• Oct. 14: voter registration deadline
• Nov. 1: last day to request an absentee ballot
• Nov. 5: early voting ends
• Nov. 7: absentee ballot request deadline
• Election Day: polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
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