Filing Period Ends, Numerous Seats Contested

The filing period for the 2018 elections ended at Noon today (Wednesday) with very little activity at the deadline.  One of the biggest surprises during the filing period, which ran from Feb. 12th – Feb. 28th, was the lack of Democratic opposition to many of the county level seats held by Republicans.

County Commissioner
Four of 7 seats on the Johnston County Board of Commissioners are up for election this year. All 4 of the seats are being contested.

In the District 3 race, incumbent Republican Chad Stewart of Four Oaks is being challenged by Republican Richard “Dick” Braswell of Princeton.  Stewart and Braswell will face off in the May Primary. The winner of the Primary will not have any Democratic opposition at the polls in November.

(Left to right) Current Cleveland Fire Chief Chris Ellington and former Smithfield Fire Chief Patrick Harris are running on the Republican ticket for the District 5 County Commissioners seat.

In the District 5 race, two fire chiefs are seeking the seat held by Commissioner Cookie Pope who is not seeking reelection. Current Cleveland Fire Chief Chris Ellington of Clayton and former Smithfield Fire Chief Patrick Harris of Smithfield will face off on the Republican ticket in the May Primary.  The winner of the May primary will not have a Democratic opponent in November.

In the District 6 race, former Johnston County Commissioner Chairman Tony Braswell of Pine Level will challenge Lee Jackson of Smithfield who was appointed to the seat in November after Keith Branch stepped down just months into office.  Braswell and Jackson will face off in the May Republican Primary. No Democrat filed for the seat.

(Left to right) Former Johnston County Commissioner Chairman Tony Braswell will challenge Current District 6 Commissioner Lee Jackson.

In the District 7 race, a third candidate filed Wednesday morning prior to the deadline.  Democrat Gracie Wells Chamblee of Clayton filed today. Chamblee will face the winner of the Republican Primary on May 8th between incumbent Allen Mims Jr. of Clayton and challenger Robert “Butch” Lawter Jr. of Clayton, a member of the Clayton Town Council. Chamblee is a substitute teacher in Johnston County Schools.

School Board
Eight candidates have filed for 3 seats on the non-partisan Johnston County School Board race.  All three incumbents, Dorothy Johnson of Clayton, Butler Hall of Four Oaks and Todd Sutton of Kenly are seeking election. There are 5 challengers this year: Jason Barbour of Four Oaks, Jimmy Clapp Jr. of Smithfield; John Radford of Selma; Terri Sessoms of Smithfield, and Tracie Zukowski of Clayton.

Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell of Princeton will have opposition in the May primary from fellow Republican William Buchanan Burgess of Clayton.  No Democratic candidate filed for the sheriff’s seat.

(Left to right) Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell has opposition for reelection this year from former deputy William Burgess.

NC House District 28
Jimmie M. Massengill of Four Oaks filed minutes before the deadline today (Wednesday) for the NC House District 28 seat currently held by Rep. Larry Strickland of Pine Level.   Massengill, a Democrat is seeking Strickland’s seat along with Libertarian Walter Lee Rabon of Four Oaks.  Strickland, a Republican, is seeking his second term.  Massengill ran unsuccessfully for the house seat in 2016.

NC House District 26
Rep. Donna White of Clayton will have opposition for her second term representing House District 26. White, a Republican, is being challenged by Democrat Linda Adele Bennett of Zebulon (Johnston County).

NC Senate District 11
First term NC Senator Richard “Rick” Horner, a Republican from of Bailey, has familiar opposition for re-election in 2018.  Horner who represents the 11th District, which includes northwestern Johnston County and all of Nash County, is being challenged by Democrat Albert Ray Pacer of Zebulon (Johnston County) who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the same seat in 2016.

US House District 7
Johnston County native and current US House Rep. David Rouzer has no Republican opposition for re-election in 2018 but has two Democratic challengers.  Dr. Lauren Kyle Horton of Carolina Beach and Grayson Adams Parker of Goldsboro have filed for the US House District 7 seat.

US House – District 2
In the US House District 2 race, incumbent Rep. George Holding of Raleigh has 5 opponents seeking his seat.  They including fellow Republican Gregory Allen Chesser of Louisburg, Democrats Linda Coleman and Kenneth Romley both of Raleigh, Democrat Wendy Ella May of Micro and Libertarian Jeff Matemu of Raleigh.

Several incumbents will not have any opposition in 2018. They include District Attorney Susan Doyle, Clerk of Court Michelle Ball and Register of Deeds Craig Olive.  All three incumbents are Republicans.