Filing begins Monday

Election season will officially get under way Monday, as filing begins for county, state and federal offices.

The 2012 filing period will last from noon Monday until noon Feb. 29.

County offices up for election include the Catawba County register of deeds and two seats for the county board of commissioners.

Republican commissioner incumbents Barbara Beatty and Dan Hunsucker have both said they intend to run for re-election. Republican Kevin Spiva, a former Maiden councilman from 2001-06, announced he intends to challenge the incumbent members for one of the two seats.

Republican Steve Graves, a Hickory resident, also intends to run for a commissioner seat.

Area voters will elect three state legislators this year, with two state representative spots and one state senator position up for election.

In the state senate, Sen. Austin Allran (R-Catawba, Iredell) is the incumbent for the state’s 49th district.

In the state house, Rep. Mitchell Setzer is the incumbent for the 89th district.

State Rep. Mark Hilton (R-Catawba) is the incumbent for the state’s 96th district, but announced earlier this year he will not seek re-election. Real estate professional Andy Wells announced in December 2011 that he intends to run for the seat.

All county and locally elected state candidates must file at the Catawba County Board of Elections, said elections director Larry Brewer.

“The people that would be filing here is the N.C. Senate, N.C. House, board of commissioners and the register of deeds,” he said. “All of the other offices file at the state office.”

Each candidate for county and locally elected state offices must be a registered voter of the same political party in which he or she intends to file. An individual changing party affiliation must do it 90 day prior to the date the candidate files, according to information provided by the county.

In addition, a candidate must be at least 21 years old to run for a county office. Candidates must be at least 30 years old to run for N.C. Senate and at least 25 years old to run for N.C. House.

There are various filing fees for the different offices up for election.
The filing fee for county commissioner seats is $90.

“The fee is based on one percent of the starting salary of that office,” Brewer said.

To file, Brewer said candidates can simply appear at the elections office located inside the Catawba County Government Center in Newton.

“They don’t have to bring any kind of papers,” Brewer said. “We have all the appropriate papers here at the office. If they want to print the pages off before hand, they can do it, but we can pull up the forms, notarize and sign them. We will do the whole process right here in the office.”

State and federal offices
In addition to the offices of president and vice president, area voters will elect U.S. representatives for the nation’s fifth and 10th districts.

U.S. Reps. Virginia Foxx and Patrick McHenry are both incumbents for the seats.

State offices of the governor and the entire council of state are up for re-election, too. Incumbent Gov. Bev Perdue announced in January she would not seek re-election.

Two seats on the district 25 court judge bench is also up for election.

Buford Cherry and Gary Dellinger currently hold the seats. All judges file with the N.C. Board of Elections.

Catawba County Schools board
The seats of three Catawba County Schools Board of Education members — Chairwoman Joyce Spencer, Stephen Hilton and Marilyn McCree — are up for election in 2012.

Filing for the race begins June 4 and ends July 6.