Pungo Living: Hyde County candidate filings ended on Monday

Published 7:24 pm Wednesday, December 23, 2015

SWAN QUARTER — Hyde County’s filing period for candidates came to a close on Monday at noon, with 14 candidates listed to run for the 11 seats up for grabs.

The filing period for the primary election set for March 15, 2016 began on Dec. 1. The open seats include: county commissioner-Fairfield Township; county commissioner-Ocracoke Township; county commissioner-Lake Landing Township; two seats for the Board of Education; two seats for Engelhard Sanitary District; two seats for Ocracoke Sanitary District; and two seats for Swan Quarter Sanitary District.

The primary election is expected to run smoothly in March, as many of the candidates are running unopposed.

Incumbent Republican Benjamin Simmons III is running unopposed to reclaim his seat as a county commissioner for Fairfield Township. Brandon Marshall and R.S. Tony Spencer will run unopposed for Engelhard Sanitary District, as well as Regina O. Boor and Scott Bradley for Ocracoke Sanitary District, according to the State Board of Elections candidate list.

As Wayne Hodges was the only one to file for Swan Quarter Sanitary District, he will run unopposed, although there is one seat left to fill. To fill the vacant spot, the ballot will have the option for write-in candidates, and the person who receives the most write-ins will take the second spot, according to Viola Williams, director at the Hyde County Board of Elections.

Duking it out for the two seats on the Hyde County Board of Education are James “Little Brother” Topping, Randy Etheridge, Thomas Whitaker and Willie G. Shaw, all of whom have held public offices.

The Lake Landing Township county commissioner position has two candidates filed to fill it. According to the State Board of Elections, incumbent Republican Earl D. Pugh Jr. is set to face off against Democrat Thomas Midgette in March.

The same is true of the Ocracoke Township position, although incumbent Democrat John S. Fletcher will be facing an opponent of the same party, Democrat Thomas Pahl, the candidate list stated.

Absentee voting by mail for the primary election will begin Jan. 25, 2016, and One Stop voting will be held from March 3-12, 2016. Per state law, voters will be required to show a photo ID to vote in the election.