As candidate filing continues for the Lincoln County Board of Education, all four seats up for election in November will feature contested races.
Filing began June 4 and will continue through noon on July 2. Up this year are seats in the new Districts 1, 3 and 4, plus an at-large seat, with each term lasting for four years.
As the Times-News previously reported, the new election districts were approved late last year after more than a dozen different plans were considered, resulting in a board with five members who must reside in population-based districts and two members elected at-large.
A four-member majority of the seven-member board will be chosen this year, with three other seats being elected in 2014.
Since the Times-News last reported on candidates who have filed so far, four others have added their names to the mix. Currently, there are nine candidates who have filed for the four seats up for contention.
Current school board member Tommy Houser of Vale has filed for District 1, as has Cathy Davis, also of Vale. Nolan Nance of Vale previously filed for this seat. Houser is a registered Democrat; Davis and Nance are Republicans.
The new District 1, corresponding roughly to the western third of the county, is made up of the following precincts: North Brook, North Brook III, Daniels/Vale, Heavners and the western portion of Oak Grove.
As previously reported, current board member Ed Hatley of Lincolnton is seeking election to the new District 3, and faces a challenge from Anita McCall of Lincolnton. Hatley is a registered Democrat and McCall is a Republican.
District 3, corresponding to the north-central portion of the county, is made up of the following precincts: Lincolnton-North, Boger City, Hickory Grove, Buffalo Shoals, Pumpkin Center and the eastern portion of Oak Grove.
Current board member George Dellinger of Iron Station has filed for the District 4 seat, and will be challenged by Tony Jenkins of Lincolnton. Both candidates are registered Republicans.
District 4, corresponding to the southeastern portion of the county, is made up of the following precincts: Ore Bank, Iron Station, Iron Station-South, Lowesville, Lowesville-West and Cowan’s Ford.
Joan Avery of Crouse, who previously held the old Howards Creek Township seat on the board before falling in the 2010 election to current board member Clayton Mullis, has filed for the at-large seat. In 2010, Avery received roughly 45 percent of the vote to Mullis’ 55 percent. Mullis’ current term will end in 2014.
This year, Avery will complete with Mark Mullen of Lincolnton, who previously filed for the at-large seat earlier this month.
Avery is a registered Democrat and Mullen is a Republican.
Kelly Childers, who was elected to an at-large seat under the old district plan in 2008, remains the only current school board member whose term is ending this year who has yet to file, according to the Lincoln County Board of Elections website. It is unclear at this time whether Childers, a Democrat, plans to do so. He would be eligible to file either as a District 1 or an at-large candidate.
Come November, each member of the new Lincoln County Board of Education will be chosen by voters countywide, regardless of whether they are running for a district or at-large seat. The districts are only used to define where a candidate must reside.
Although party affiliations of school board candidates are public record and, therefore, often known by voters, these seats are officially nonpartisan, with no party primaries conducted.