County commission race crowded already

At least four people plan to run for two open Catawba County Board of Commissioners seats in the 2012 election.

Filing for 2012 election races begins at noon Feb. 13 and continues through Feb. 29. However, Catawba County elections officials said candidates are currently allowed to file reports declaring their intention to organize an election campaign.

Two people — Steve Graves, of Hickory, and incumbent commissioner Barbara Beatty, of Newton — have already filed 2012 campaign organization reports at the Catawba County Board of Elections.

Two others — Kevin Spiva, of Maiden, and incumbent commissioner Dan Hunsucker, of Conover — said Thursday they also intend to seek the seats that are currently held by Hunsucker and Beatty.

"You can put me down for a 'yes,'" Hunsucker said.

Spiva said he plans to visit the Board of Elections office today to begin filing his campaign organization reports, which provide the state with information about campaign finances and managers.

Spiva, who works as a service adviser at Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet, previously served as a Maiden town councilman from 2001-2006, including two years as mayor pro tem.

He said he had to give up his council seat during a term when he bought a house outside town limits.

"I have been toying with the idea of running for county commissioner since I got off the seat (in Maiden) because I've been looking to stay in public service," Spiva said. "No one on county commissioners is doing a bad job or anything. I just want to be able to help out my community and look out for the well being of the citizens of Catawba County."

Graves and Beatty did not return calls for this story by press time.

Candidates who win the two Board of Commissioners seats will serve four-year terms.