MONROE – Several local and state candidates lined up outside of the Union County Board of Elections Office on Dec. 2 to officially file their candidacy for the 2020 election.
Filing opened Dec. 2 and will continue to be open through Dec. 19 at noon.
Candidates running for county office, which consist of two commissioner seats, five board of education seats and one register of deeds seat, file their candidacy as well as their campaign finance paperwork at the office in Union County, according to Kristin Jacumin, the director of the Union County Board of Elections. Their campaign finance paperwork is due within 10 days of filing for office.
Meanwhile, candidates running for state senate, house and attorney general seats file their candidacy in Union County, but turn in their campaign finance paperwork in Raleigh.
Jacumin said the filing period for United States congressional district representatives had been put on hold, but is now open in Raleigh as of Dec. 2.
All candidates must complete a notice of candidacy form, as well as verify that they are registered voters in the districts they wish to represent, Jacumin said. They must also pay a filing fee, which varies depending on the position they are running for. Jacumin also said candidates must answer if they are a felon and if they have completed their probation and parole.
In 2020, North Carolina House of Representatives districts will change. However, state senate districts will remain the same.
“Before, there were some precinct splits,” Jacumin said. “Now, the district lines run along with the precinct lines. We have new maps and we are changing that in our geocode and any voter that their House district has changed, we’ll be mailing them a card with their new district information.”
One change is that District 55, currently represented by Republican Mark Brody, will include parts of Marshville.
Brody is running for reelection and was one of the first 10 candidates to file on Dec. 2. He said his district is unique because most of it is rural farmland. If reelected, he hopes to address issues of urbanization of the land. He also hopes to address affordable housing issues, which he calls “attainable housing.”
He said there are many economic and social issues at stake this election.
“There’s just a lot of things that we’ve done that we’re really proud of and I think we need to continue this trajectory and to elect a Democrat in our place would completely stop that and turn back a lot of those things that we’ve done,” Brody said.
Todd Johnson, who represents District 35 in the Senate, hopes to get a second term.
“In Raleigh, we work on major policy initiatives that impact areas like education, health care, taxes, public safety and transportation,” Johnson said. “We read data. We study reports. We hear from staff and policy experts. They tell us North Carolina is moving forward.”
Back home, Johnson says, he hears the challenges commuters face on the road and teachers have in the classroom. He said state leaders have put North Carolina on stable financial footing and that now is not the time to change that path.
Locally, Richard Helms filed to run for re-election to the Union County Board of Commissioners. His seat, as well as commissioner Frank Aikmus’s seat, is up for grabs this election.
Helms has served on the board since 2012 and was elected chairman in 2014.
“We’ve made some incredible progress this past year,” Helms said. “We’ve got a new manager and a new management team and our accomplishments have been over the top this year, and I see opportunities to take Union County further in the next four years. I’d like to be a part of that.”
Though he feels proud of the progress in Union County, he still plans to give this election his all.
“You never take it for granted,” Helms said. “I am very fortunate and I’ve got some strong support out of the law enforcement and fire departments in the community so I’m encouraged by that, but will not take anything for granted.”
A primary will be held March 3, 2020.
Filing so far through first two days:
Register of Deeds: Crystal Gilliard
School Board At-Large: Todd Price
County Commissioner: Richard Helms & Frank Aikmus
House District 55: Mark Brody
House District 68: Davis Willis
House District 69: Dean Arp
Visit the Union County Board of Elections Facebook page for more information on which Union County candidates have filed their candidacy so far.