Candidate filing in Eastern North Carolina halted after claims of illegal gerrymandering

·4 min read
Polling stations are open for Election Day in New Bern, NC, Nov. 3, 2020. A voter shows an “I Voted” Sticker at the polling station located at West Craven Recreation Center on Pinetree Drive. [Gray Whitley / Sun Journal Staff]
Polling stations are open for Election Day in New Bern, NC, Nov. 3, 2020. A voter shows an “I Voted” Sticker at the polling station located at West Craven Recreation Center on Pinetree Drive. [Gray Whitley / Sun Journal Staff]

The North Carolina Supreme Court has suspended the state's current filing period for the 2022 election and pushed the primary date back two months.

Following a decision made by the highest court in the state, potential candidates are no longer able to file until litigation is over.

The court granted an injunction Wednesday in response to legal challenges related to the state’s new congressional and legislative district maps. The primaries were initially scheduled for March 8 and are now scheduled for May 17.

On Monday, the North Carolina Court of Appeals pause candidate filing for the state's congressional and state legislative seats. The ruling came down from a lawsuit brought on by the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, arguing the maps were unconstitutional.

Elections include a U.S. Senate seat, all 14 U.S. House, and 170 General Assembly seats, along with judicial and other positions. Countywide and any municipal elections are also delayed.

The order states candidates who have already filed will be accepted and used for the May primary. The Supreme Court says a panel of three trial judges hearing a pair of lawsuits must rule on the claims by Jan. 11.

This is the second time in three days state courts have stopped candidate filing.

As candidate filing closed at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, a few more names were added to several county races.

Two current North Carolina State Senators and one North Carolina House hopeful have filed that will impact the election in Jones, Pamlico, and Craven. One current Craven County Board of Education member who was appointed earlier this year will run in his first official campaign.

Below are the candidates who have filed for the 2022 Election as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

  • State Senator Jim Perry (R) filed to run for N.C. Senate District 3 (Lenoir, Craven, and Pamlico

  • NC House Rep. Chris Humphrey (R) filed to run for House District 12 (Jones, Lenoir)

  • Brent Jackson (R) running for NC Senate District 9 (Jones County)

  • NC House Rep. Keith Kidwell (R) running for NC House District 79 (Pamlico)

  • NC House of Rep. Steven Tyson (R) running for NC House District 3 (Craven)

  • Celeste Cairns (R) running for NC House District 13 (Craven, Carteret)

  • State Senator Brent Jackson (R) running for NC Senate District 9 (Jones)

  • State Senator Bob Steinburg (R) running for NC Senate District 2 (Pamlico)

More: Craven County representatives unable to file with local elected officials on opening day

More: Who really cares about local elections? Voter turnout has been low for years

More: Craven County women have ground to make up in elected positions. Men still dominate boards

Craven County candidates who have filed

Craven County Board of Commissioners

  • Tom Mark (R) District 1

  • Jason R. Jones (R) District 2

  • Beatrice Smith (D) District 3

  • E T Mitchell (R) District 4

  • Theron McCabe (D) District 5

  • Milly Acevedo (D) District 5

  • Chadwick Howard (R) District 6

  • Denny Bucher (R) District 7

Craven County Board of Education

  • Scott Murphy (R) District 2

  • Michael A. Genovese (R) District 4

  • Victor Dove (D) District 4

Craven County Clerk of Superior Court

  • Terri W. Sharp (D)

  • Lexanne Huffman (R)

Craven County Sheriff

  • Chip Hughes (R)

New Bern Mayor

  • Maxwell D. Oglesby

New Bern Board of Aldermen

  • Sabrina Bengel (Ward 1)

  • Jameesha Harris (Ward 2)

  • Jennell Reddick (Ward 2)

  • Bobby Aster (Ward 3)

  • Johnnie Ray Kinsey (Ward 4)

  • Travis Oakley (Ward 6)

  • Bob Brinson (Ward 6)

Jones County candidates who have filed

Jones County District Attorney

  • Kevin Kiernan (R)

Jones County Board of Commissioner

  • Charlie Dunn, Jr (D) District 1

  • April Philyaw Aycock (R) District 3

Jones County Board of Education

  • Debbie Philyaw (R)

  • Myron P Meadows (D)

Jones County Clerk of Superior Court

  • Chris Henderson (D)

Jones County Sheriff

  • Matthew Wineman (R)

  • Carl Baugus (R)

Pamlico County candidates who have filed

Pamlico County Board of Commissioners

  • Kari Forrest (R) at-large

  • Doug Brinson (R) at-large

  • Edward Lee Riggs, Jr. (R) District 3

Pamlico County Clerk of Superior Court

  • Steven E. Hollowell (D)

Pamlico County Sheriff

  • Jason Hannah (D)

Pamlico County Board of Education

  • Erik Smith (at-large)

  • Jamie D. Gibbs (at-large)

  • Aaron Caroon (at-large)

Reporter Trevor Dunnell can be reached by email at tdunnell@newbernsj.com. Please consider supporting local journalism by signing up for a digital subscription.

This article originally appeared on Sun Journal: Eastern North Carolina candidate filing stopped, state review gerrymandering claims

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