WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The filing period is underway for candidates wanting to run in 2018 general elections across North Carolina.
Voters will be electing candidates in several offices, including county commissioners, school board members, district attorneys, sheriffs and members of the state house and senate.
All legislative seats are up for election in 2018. That includes:
- House District 16 (covers all of Pender County, part of Columbus County)
- House District 17 (covers most of Brunswick County)
- House District 18 (covers parts of Brunswick & New Hanover counties)
- House District 19 (covers part of New Hanover County)
- House District 20 (covers part of New Hanover County)
- House District 22 (covers all of Bladen County, part of Sampson County)
- House District 46 (covers parts of Columbus & Robeson counties)
- Senate District 8 (covers all of Pender, Brunswick & Bladen counties, small part of New Hanover)
- Senate District 9 (covers nearly all of New Hanover County)
- Senate District 13 (covers all of Columbus & Robeson counties)
Two congressional seats will be on the ballot in 2018. The seventh Congressional district covers all of New Hanover, Pender, Brunswick and Columbus counties, and part of Bladen County (David Rouzer seat). The area not covered by the seventh district is in the ninth Congressional district (Robert Pittenger seat).
Voters in New Hanover County will elect a sheriff (Ed McMahon seat), two members of the Board of Commissioners (Skip Watkins, Rob Zapple seats), and four school board members (Cavenaugh, Hayes, Higgins, Shell seats).
Candidates and their supporters in New Hanover County lined up in front the Board of Elections building well before noon Monday.
In the first hour, four Democrats and one Republican filed for office.
Three are running for seats in the General Assembly: Incumbent Democrat Deb Butler in House District 18, Democrat Marcia Morgan for House District 19 and Democrat Leslie Cohen for House District 20.
New Hanover County Commissioners Republican Skip Watkins and Democrat Rob Zapple filed for re-election. Both commissioners said they're appreciative to everyone who came out to support them.
"You run a campaign and it starts at the beginning and goes until the end, and so we're grateful to the 30-plus people that showed up in support of us," Watkins said. "It's just another demonstration of the support our campaign has in New Hanover County and we thank those supporters coming today and we thank the voters in the future."
According to Zapple, the support Monday for all of the candidates showed that more people are getting involved in the process compared to past years.
"We've seen throughout our entire community and across the country that after the election of last year, of last November, there is a renewed sense of people stepping in from off the sidelines and getting involved," Zapple said. "Every precinct where before I may have had half a dozen or 10 people, I'm seeing 30, 40. I was at an event this weekend with 100 people there and they are all fired up. They all want to step in and they realize elections do count."
Watkins and Zapple said they plan to continue to fight the opioid crisis and GenX, and will focus on funding for schools.
Click here to find out the other candidates who have filed so far.
Brunswick County voters will see the sheriff's office on the ballot (Ingram seat), two county commissioner seats (Cooke, Randy Thompson) and two school board seats (Miller, John Thompson). Click here to find out which candidates have filed so far.
There will be a new sheriff in Pender County at the end of 2018, with incumbent Carson Smith deciding not to run for reelection. Three seats on the Board of Commissioners are up for election (Brown, Piepmeyer, Williams), along with three school board seats (Herring, Lanier, Whiteside). Incumbent Katherine Herring has already announced she will not seek another term on the school board. Click here to find out which candidates have filed so far.
Bladen County voters will also vote for a sheriff in 2018 (McVicker seat), along with three county commissioner seats (Bullock – District 1, Peterson – District 2, Priest – District 3) and six school board members (Benton, Edwards and Rozier in county-wide seats, Rhonda – District 1, Carroll – District 2, West – District 3).
In Columbus County, the sheriff's office is on the ballot (Hatcher seat), in addition to three county commission seats (McKenzie – District 1, Bullard – District 6, McDowell – District 7) and three school board seats (Yates – District 2, Herring – District 3, Edwards – District 4). Whiteville City Board of Education seats will also be decided by voters (Barbour – At Large, Prince – District 1, Flowers – District 2)
Both District Attorney offices are up for election in 2018. The Fifth Prosecutorial District covers New Hanover & Pender counties (Ben David seat), while the Thirteenth Prosecutorial District covers Brunswick, Bladen and Columbus counties (Jon David seat).
The filing period for these offices and others runs through February 28, 2018. The primary elections are scheduled for May 8, 2018, and the general election will be conducted on November 6, 2018