Filing for county, state, national offices kicks off Monday

Published 10:55 pm Friday, November 29, 2019

With municipal elections only a few weeks in the rearview mirror, the Beaufort County Board of Elections is already gearing up for the 2020 primaries. Filing begins at noon Monday for a variety of national, state and countywide offices, and lasts until noon Dec. 20.

“There are a lot of offices that will be on the ballot this year,” said Board of Elections Director Kellie Hopkins. “Some register at the state board, and some file with us.”

A presidential-election year, 2020 will also see the election of U.S. Congressional representatives, North Carolina governor, members of the N.C. Council of State and judicial officials ranging from the N.C. Supreme Court to district and superior court judges. Individuals seeking those offices must register at the N.C. Board of Elections in Raleigh.

Locally, Beaufort County residents will also select a N.C. senator, N.C. state representative, register of deeds, four county commissioners, school board members in odd districts and supervisors for the Beaufort County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Incumbents up for reelection on the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners include Jerry Langley, Hood Richardson and Jerry Evans. John Rebholz, who was nominated by the Beaufort County GOP to finish out the unexpired term of the late Gary Brinn, will also have to file for reelection should he wish to continue serving in that position.

For state legislative offices, N.C. Rep. Keith Kidwell confirmed this week that he will run for a second term in the N.C. House, but the N.C. Senate seat currently held by N.C. Sen. Erica Smith will have an open field. Because Smith is running for U.S. Senate in an attempt to unseat incumbent Thom Tillis, she cannot run for N.C. Senate.

“If she officially files for U.S. Senate, she would not be able to file for North Carolina Senate,” Hopkins explained. “You can only run for one office at a time.”

Board of Education members with expiring terms in 2020 include Eltha Booth, T.W. Allen, F. Mac Hodges, Carolyn Walker and Terry Draper. Allen was appointed to the board earlier this year after the death of Barbara-Boyd Williams. He currently represents school board District 3, which includes Belhaven and Pantego.

The cost to file varies by office, but is determined by calculating 1% of the position’s annual salary. For N.C. Senate and House, the cost to run is $140. Other filing fees are $735 for Register of Deeds is, $174 for county commissioner and $32 for the Board of Education. Those seeking these offices can register at the Beaufort County Board of Elections. There will be a special filing period from June 8 to July 2 for Soil and Water District Supervisor candidates. For more information on candidate filing, visit