Election signs line the drive up to Madison High School on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Candidates in rural Western North Carolina invested in billboard advertising, while statewide races drew record-setting spending on television advertising in the state. Colby Rabon/Carolina Public Press

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article focused on candidates filing in December 2015 for the 2016 election cycle. It has been superceded by an article that focuses on the full slate of candidates once the filing window closed on Dec. 21. That article also corrects a number of minor errors that appeared in the article below. Please see the new article for up-to-date information.

The filing window for candidates in 2016 elections in North Carolina is closing fast with  the deadline set for noon Monday.

Many races are stacking up to be hotly contested. Others, especially judgeships, are seeing only the incumbent file, giving the people no say in whether these individuals ought to continue serving — unless a challenger materializes in the final days of filing. Meanwhile, a few races have no candidates at all so far.

A range of federal, state and local offices will appear on primary and general election ballots in Western North Carolina next year. The filing period began on Dec. 1 this cycle due to primaries in March 2016, two months earlier than normal for the state. The change was made so that voters can participate in the presidential primary process while it’s still being contested, which may draw more candidates’ attention to North Carolina during the primary season.

The following offers a breakdown of those candidates who have thrown their hats in the ring so far.

The candidates’ party affiliation is given, even when a candidate is running in a nonpartisan race. In these cases, the nonpartisan nature of the race is noted. Party affiliation for any registered voter, including candidates, is public record, but will not appear on the ballot for candidates in nonpartisan races. For primary purposes, these races will appear on the ballots of all voters regardless of the voters’ own affiliation and choice of primary participation.

Party affiliation is noted as:

  • D for Democrat
  • R for Republican
  • U for Unaffiliated
  • L for Libertarian
  • G for Green Party

Town of residence (not county) is given for each candidate. In cases where their postal address incorrectly implies residence a county whose limits are not within the county from which they are running, the actual  county in which they are registered to vote is noted. For instance, a Madison County candidate with a Weaverville address does not live within the town limits of the Buncombe County municipality of Weaverville but within the area that the federal U.S. Postal service has designated as having a Weaverville zip code, so this is noted as “Weaverville, Madison County.”

The residence listed is based on their voter registration record, though some candidates may give various other locations when running, including the location of a campaign office.

Candidates who have announced but not filed are not included. A few candidates who have filed but whose records have not been updated on the state Board of Elections Website may not be listed immediately, but will be added as soon as they are officially listed.

Anyone wishing to seek a local office can file with their county boards of elections. Those running for state or federal offices should verify their eligibility with their county election boards, then contact the state board to file.

The list below will be updated periodically until the filing window has closed. Names are given based on the candidate’s voter registration. For those who are running with a nickname that will appear on that ballot, that is listed in quotes.

Statewide Non-Judicial Offices


Clyde Robert Brawley Jr., R-Mooresville

Kenneth “Ken” Bridgeforth Spaulding, D-Durham

Lon Vernon Cecil, L-High Point, Davidson County

Patrick “Pat” L. McCrory, R-Charlotte (incumbent)

Roy Asberry Cooper III, D-Raleigh

Lieutenant Governor

Daniel “Dan” J. Forest, R-Raleigh (incumbent)

Diana Holly Jones, D-Asheville

Joseph John “J.J.” Summerell, L-Greensboro

Linda D. Coleman, D-Knightdale

Robert Earl Wilson, D-Cary

Ronald L. Newton, D-Newton

Secretary of State

Abraham Joseph “A.J.” Daoud, R-Pilot Mountain

Elaine Folk Marshall, D-Lilington (incumbent)

Michael Salvatore LaPaglia, R-Durham

Attorney General

Eldon “Buck” Sharpe Newton III, R-Wilson

James “Jim” Roderick O’Neill, R-Winston-Salem

Joshua “Josh” H. Stein, D-Raleigh


Beth A. Wood, D-Raleigh (incumbent)

Commissioner of Agriculture

Steven “Steve” Wayne Troxler, R-Browns Summit (incumbent)

Walter Graham Smith Jr., D-Yadkinville

Commissioner of Insurance

John Michael “Mike” Causey, R-Greensboro

Ronald “Ron” Leonard Pierce, R-Charlotte

George Wayne Goodwin, D-Raleigh (incumbent)

Commissioner of Labor

Charles C. Meeker, D-Raleigh

Cherie Killian Berry, R-Newton (incumbent)

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Henry Junior Pankey, D-Durham

Joel Wesley Sills, R-Dunn

June St. Clair Atkinson, D-Raleigh (incumbent)

Mark Randall Johnson Jr., R-Winston-Salem

Rosemary Stein, R-Snow Camp


Dale R. Folwell, R-Winston-Salem

Daniel “Dan” Terry Blue III, D-Raleigh

Roger Ronal “Ron” Elmer Jr., D-Cary

Judicial offices affecting WNC

Court of Appeals Judge (Dietz) (nonpartisan race)

Richard Donald Dietz, R-Winston-Salem (incumbent)

Vinston Miller Rozier Jr., D-Raleigh

Court of Appeals Judge (Hunter) (nonpartisan race)

Abraham “Abe” Penn Jones, D-Raleigh

Robert “Bob” Neal Hunter, R-Morehead City (incumbent)

(NOTE: Jones was previously listed as a candidate for the Zachary seat, below. The N.C. Board of Elections corrected this listing as of Dec. 15.)

Court of Appeals Judge (Stephens) (nonpartisan race)

Linda N. Stephens, D-Raleigh (incumbent)

Philip Edward Berger Jr., R-Hillsborough

Court of Appeals Judge (Zachary) (nonpartisan race)

Rickye McKoy-Mitchell, D-Charlotte

Valerie Johnson Zachary, R-Yadkinville (incumbent)

Superior Court Judge, District 24

Robert Gregory “Greg” Horne, R-Boone (incumbent)

District Court Judge, District 24 (Eggers-Gryder) (nonpartisan race)

Joshua James “Josh” Teague, D-Boone

Rebecca “Becca” E. Eggers-Gryder, R-Boone (incumbent)

District Court Judge, District 24 (Harrison) (nonpartisan race)

Hal Gene Harrison, R-Spruce Pine (incumbent)

District Court Judge, District 24 (McEntire) (nonpartisan race)

Theodore “Ted” Wright McEntire, R-Spruce Pine (incumbent)

District Court Judge, District 28 (Dray) (nonpartisan race)

Andrea F. Dray, D-Asheville (incumbent)

District Court Judge, District 28 (Hill) (nonpartisan race)

James Calvin Hill, D-Candler (incumbent)

District Court Judge, District 29B (Brittain) (nonpartisan race)

Thomas McAvoy “Mack” Brittain Jr., R-Etowah (incumbent)

District Court Judge, District 29B (Brooks) (nonpartisan race)

Athena Fox Brooks, R-Horse Shoe (incumbent)

District Court Judge, District 29B (Cowan) (nonpartisan race)

Emily Greene Cowan, R-Hendersonville (incumbent)

District Court Judge, District 29B (Knight) (nonpartisan race)

Peter Brian Knight, R-Hendersonville (incumbent)

District Court Judge, District 30 (Leslie) (nonpartisan race)

Monica Hayes Leslie, D-Waynesville (incumbent)

District Court Judge, District 30 (Sellers) (nonpartisan race)

Tessa Shelton Sellers,  R-Hayesville (incumbent)

District Court Judge, District 30 (Walker) (nonpartisan race)

Richard K. Walker, D-Hayesville (incumbent)

Federal and state legislative offices affecting WNC

U.S. Senate

Christia “Chris” Virdelle Rey, D-Spring Lake

Deborah K. Ross, D-Raleigh

Kevin Day Griffin, D-Durham

Larry Howard Holmquist, R-Greensboro

Paul Michael Wright, R-Dudley

Richard Mauze Burr, R-Winston-Salem (incumbent)

Sean Newton Haugh, L-Durham

U.S. House District 5 (Watauga and various non-WNC counties)

Patricia “Pattie” Margaret Curran, R-Kernersville

Virginia Ann Foxx, R-Banner Elk (incumbent)

U.S. House District 10 (Polk, Rutherford, part of Buncombe and various non-WNC counties)

Carl Andrew “Andy” Millard, D-Columbus

Patrick Timothy McHenry, R-Denver (incumbent)

U.S. House District 11 (most of WNC)

Mark Randal Meadows, R-Cashiers (incumbent)

Fredrick “Rick” E. Bryson, D-Swain

Thomas “Tom” Waddell Hill, D-Zirconia

N.C. Senate District 45 (Wautaga, Avery and various non-WNC counties)

Arthur “Art” M. Sherwood, D-Lenoir

Deanna Marie Ballard, R-Blowing Rock

Kenneth Arnold Boham, R-Lenoir

(Note: Sen. Daniel “Dan” Frederick Soucek, R-Boone, filed to run but then withdrew a few days later. In earlier versions of this article he was listed as a candidate.)

N.C. Senate District 47 (Madison, Polk, Yancey, Mitchell, Avery and McDowell)

Ralph Edward Hise Jr., R-Spruce Pine (incumbent)

N.C. Senate District 48 (Henderson, Transylvania and part of Buncombe)

Dennis Grover Justice, R-Fletcher

Charles “Chuck” Marion Edwards, R-Flat Rock

Norman Bossert, D-Pisgah Forest

N.C. Senate District 49 (part of Buncombe)

Teresa “Terry” Quaid Van Duyn, D-Asheville (incumbent)

N.C. Senate District 50 (Jackson, Swain, Macon, Graham, Clay, Cherokee, Transylvania and Haywood)

Jane Bates Hipps, D-Candler, Haywood County

James “Jim” Wayland Davis, R-Franklin (incumbent)

N.C. House District 85 (Avery, McDowell and Mitchell)

Joshua “Josh” Robert Dobson, R-Nebo (incumbent)

N.C. House District 93 (Watauga and a non-WNC county)

Jonathan Christian Jordan, R-Crumpler (incumbent)

Lewis “Lew” Bevin Hendricks, R-Boone

Ronald “Ronnie” David Marsh, D-Boone

Percilla Sue Counts, D-Boone

N.C. House District 112 (Rutherford and a non-WNC county)

Michael “Mike” Dean Hager, R-Rutherfordton (incumbent)

N.C. House District 113 (Polk, Henderson, Transylvania)

Cody Hayden Henson, R-Brevard

Coty James Ferguson, R-Brevard

Maureen Theresa Mahan Copelof, D-Brevard

N.C. House District 114 (portions of Buncombe)


N.C. House District 115 (portions of Buncombe)

Frank Hannon Moretz, R-Fairview

John Curtis Ager Jr., D-Fairview (incumbent)

Robert “Bob” David Chilmonik, R-Black Mountain

N.C. House District 116 (portions of Buncombe)

Brian Mills Turner, D-Asheville (incumbent)

N.C. House District 117 (portions of Henderson)

Charles “Chuck” Worden McGrady, R-Hendersonville (incumbent)

N.C. House District 118 (portions of Haywood, Madison, Yancey)

Michele Donna Presnell, R-Burnsville (incumbent)

Reese Aulton Steen, D-Mars Hill

Rhonda Cole Schandevel, D-Canton

N.C. House District 119 (portions of Haywood, Swain, Jackson)

Aaron Lee Littlefield, R-Cullowhee

Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville (incumbent)

James Michael “Mike” Clampitt, R-Bryson City

N.C. House District 120 (portions of Macon, Clay, Cherokee, Graham)

Elliott John Southworth, R-Murphy

Harold Kevin Corbin, R-Franklin

County-level offices


Register of Deeds

Cynthia Renee Dellinger, R-Newland

County Commissioner

Drema Darlene Hicks, R-Elk Park

Martha Jaynes Hicks, R-Elk Park (incumbent)

County School Board (nonpartisan)

John Lemuel Greene Jr., R-Newland

Kathey Ann Aldridge, R-Newland

Richard Keith Tutterow, D-Newland


Board of Commissioners Chair

Brownie Wayne Newman, D-Asheville (incumbent)

Miranda Vinzant DeBruhl, R-Leicester (currently a District 3 commissioner)

County Commissioner, District 1

Gordon Dean Smith, D-Asheville

Isaac Franklin Coleman Jr., D-Asheville

Jasmine Elizabeth Beach-Ferrara, D-Asheville

County Commissioner, District 2

Jordan Scott Burchette, R-Fairview

Lawrence “Larry” F. Dodson, D-Weaverville

Matthew “Matt” Caswell Kern, D-Asheville

Michael “Mike” Vernon Fryar, R-Fairview (incumbent)

Scott J. Bissinger, D-Fletcher, Buncombe County

County Commissioner, District 3

Edward “Ed” Craig Hay Jr., D-Asheville

Joseph “Joe” Leonard Belcher, R-Candler (incumbent)

Register of Deeds

Andrew “Drew” Mark Reisinger, D-Asheville (incumbent)


Board of Commissioners, District II

David “CB” Franklin McKinnon, R-Marble (incumbent)

Randall “Randy” Lynn Barnett, D-Murphy

Board of Commissioners, District V

Roy Grant Dickey, R-Murphy (incumbent)

Board of Education, District I

Andrew Deluna, R-Andrews

Jeff Edward Tatham, R-Andrews

John Timothy Coffey, D-Marble (incumbent)

Board of Education, District II

Carlos Rafael Ramos, R-Murphy

John Jacob Worden, R-Murphy

Kerry Lyle Archer, D-Murphy


Commissioner, Countywide

Dwight Hunter Penland, R-Hayesville

Randy Nichols, R-Hayesville (incumbent)

Robert “Rob” Christopher Peck, R-Hayesville

School Board

Willie Daniel “Danny” Jones, R-Hayesville

Jason Troy Rhinehardt, D-Hayesville (incumbent)


County Commissioner

Karen Connie Orr, R-Robbinsville (incumbent)

John D. Lovin, D-Robbinsville

Keith Lee Eller, R-Robbinsville (incumbent)

Joey Lynn Cody, R-Robbinsville (incumbent)

Shaun Larry Adams, R-Robbinsville

County Commissioner (unexpired)

Raymond David Williams Sr., R-Robbinsville

Terri Newman Hamm, R-Almond

School Board

Douglas Rodney Nelson, R-Robbinsville (incumbent)

Sharon Cable Edwards, R-Robbinsville (incumbent)


County Commissioner

Charles Lee Boyd, D-Waynesville

Lawrence Kevin Ensley, R-Waynesville (incumbent)

Robin Greene Black, D-Canton

Stephen “Steve” Michael Brown, D-Waynesville

Terry Eugene Ramey, D-Clyde


County Commissioner, District 2

Charles “Charlie” Dwayne Messer, R-Fletcher (incumbent)

County Commissioner, District 5

Grady Harold Hawkins, R-Hendersonville (incumbent)

County School Board (nonpartisan)

Thomas Blair Craven, R-Hendersonville

Burton “Burt” Henry Harris, R-Hendersonville

Ervin W. Bazzle, U-Hendersonville (incumbent)

Jared Michael Bellmund, U-Etowah

Josh David Houston, R-Flat Rock (incumbent)

Mary Louise Johnston Corn, U-Fletcher (incumbent)

Frederick “Rick” Richard Wood, D-Hendersonville (incumbent)


County Commissioner, District 4

Mark Riggs Jones, D-Cashiers (incumbent)

County Commissioner, District 3

Vicki Jane Greene, D-Sylva (incumbent)

Ronald “Ron” Mau, R-Cullowhee

School Board, District 1 (nonpartisan)

Elizabeth King Cooper, D-Whittier (incumbent)


County Commissioner, District 2

Charles “Charlie” Daniel Leatherman, D-Franklin

Karl Ellis Gillespie, R-Franklin

Ronald “Ron” Marion Haven, R-Franklin

County Commissioner, District 3

Robert “Bobby” H. Kuppers, D-Franklin

Emmanuel “Manny” W. Carrion, R-Franklin

Gregory Floyd Boyer, R-Franklin

Paul Clayton Higdon, R-Franklin (incumbent)


Board of Education, District 1 (nonpartisan)

Craig Davidson Goforth, D-Mars Hill (incumbent)

Board of Education, District 2 (nonpartisan)

Kelby Richard Cody, D-Marshall (incumbent)

County Commissioner

Matthew “Matt” Thomas Wechtel, R-Weaverville, Madison County (incumbent)

Randall “Randy” Bradford, D-Marshall

Douglas Wayne Brigman, D-Mars Hill (incumbent)

Register of Deeds

Susan Penland Rector, D-Marshall (incumbent)


Board of Education, Marion (nonpartisan)

Amy Sue Moomaw, U-Marion

Michelle Lee Pupoh, R-Marion

Randy Lee Williams, D-Marion (incumbent)

Board of Education, North Cove

Terry Edward English, D-Marion

Board of Education, Old Fort (nonpartisan)

Chad “Snapper” Darrin Greene, U-Old Fort

George Patrick Ellis, R-Old Fort

County Commissioner

Barry Edwin McPeters, R-Marion (incumbent)

Christopher “Chris” David Allison, R-Marion

Thomas Franklin “Frank” Dean, R-Marion

Everett Lynn Greene, R-Marion

Van Randolph “Randy” Hollifield, R-Nebo (incumbent)

Register of Deeds

Tonia Rae Hampton, R-Old Fort (incumbent)


County Commissioner

Danny Ray Burleson, R-Spruce Pine

Elizabeth Kay Ellis Pollard, R-Spruce Pine

Kenneth “Ken” Wayne Hollifield, R-Spruce Pine (incumbent)

Register of Deeds

Kathy J. Laws, R-Bakersville (incumbent)


Board of Education, Saluda Township (nonpartisan)

Rhonda M. Corley, D-Saluda (incumbent)

Board of Education, Tryon Township (nonpartisan)

Richard “Rick” Ned Covil, D-Tryon (incumbent)

Board of Education, White Oak Township (nonpartisan)

Kevin Clayton Seay, U-Saluda

Lucinda “Cindy” Tate Allen, U-Mill Spring (incumbent)

County Commissioner

Jake Hunter Johnson, R-Saluda

John Dennis Hill, R-Columbus

Myron Lee Yoder, R-Columbus

Penelope “Penny” Jeanne Padgett, D-Mill Spring

Registrar of Deeds

Sheila W. Whitmire, R-Mill Spring (incumbent)


County Commissioner, District 2

James Gregory “Greg” Lovelace, R-Bostic (incumbent)

Jody Marc Ledford, D-Forest City

County Commissioner, District 3

Edwin “Eddie” Baxter Holland, D-Henrietta (incumbent)

Jerry Ashley Wease, D-Mooresboro

Register of Deeds

Charles Albert Martell, R-Forest City

Faye Howard Huskey, D-Forest City (incumbent)

School Board, at large

Jacqueline “Jackie” Strong Hampton, D-Forest City (incumbent)

School Board, District 1

Miles Barry Gold, R-Rutherfordton (incumbent)

School Board, District 2

John Mark Bennett, D-Forest City (incumbent)

School Board, District 3

Richard “Ritchie” Samuel Garland, D-Mooresboro (incumbent)


Board of Education

Gerald “Jerry” G. Mckinney, D-Bryson City (incumbent)

Lambert G. Wilson, D-Bryson City (incumbent)

James Maurice Biggs, D-Bryson City

Mellie K. Burns,  R-Bryson City (incumbent)

County Commissioner

Boyd Andre Gunter, D-Bryson City

Carolyn Sue Bair, R-Whittier

David Monteith, D-Bryson City (incumbent)

Stephen “Steve” Whitley Moon, D-Bryson City (incumbent)

Wayne Henry Dover, D-Bryson City


County Commissioner

James David Lorenz, R-Brevard

Jason Robert Chappell, R-Brevard (incumbent)

Michael “Mike” Stephen Hawkins, R-Brevard (incumbent)

Page Ives Level, R-Brevard (incumbent)

Register of Deeds

Cynthia “Cindy” McCall Ownbey, D-Balsam Grove (incumbent)


County Commissioner, District 1

Diane Warman Blanks, D-Boone

Henry Perry Yates, R-Boone (incumbent)

County Commissioner, District 2

Elizabeth Kingsley Shukis, R-Boone

John Everett Welch, D-Boone (incumbent)

County Commissioner, District 4

David Richard Blust, R-Boone (incumbent)

Larry K. Turnbow, D-Blowing Rock

Board of Education (nonpartisan)

Brenda Cole Reese, D-Banner Elk (incumbent)

Ronald “Ron” Ivan Henries, R-Deep Gap (incumbent)

Jon Stephen “Steve” Combs, D-Sugar Grove

Register of Deeds

Amy Jones Shook, R-Boone (incumbent)


County Commissioner

Jeff Obrien Whitson, R-Burnsville (incumbent)

James “Jim” Moore Edwards, D-Burnsville

John D. Stallings, D-Burnsville

Kenneth James Winters, D-Spruce Pine

Board of Education (nonpartisan)

Angela “Angie” Dawn Weatherman, R-Burnsville (incumbent)

Anthony Preston Allen, D-Burnsville

William “Bill” Harrison Whiteside Jr., U-Burnsville (incumbent)

Edwin D. Fortner, R-Burnsville

Erica Griffith Edwards, D-Burnsville

Gerald T. Blalock, R-Burnsville

P. Norbert “Norb” McKinney, U-Burnsville (incumbent)

Register of Deeds

Rachel Ann Austin, R-Burnsville

John Randall “Randy” Ollis, D-Burnsville

Susan Erline Jobe, D-Burnsville (incumbent)

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Frank Taylor is the managing editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact him at ftaylor@carolinapublicpress.org.

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