Moles to retire as register of deeds, King is first to file
Lee King and campaign treasurer Whitney Staton Hebert get instructions from elections specialists Cliff Marr.
Nedra Moles, who has served as Register of Deeds since 1994, said Monday will not run for a sixth term.
"I'm retiring," she said. "This is my 20th year."
Moles's exit from the local political scene marked the first mild surprise of the 2014 campaign season, and presented potentially the first major countywide office with no incumbent. Two out of three sitting commissioners have announced their intention to run for re-election and other county officeholders filed Monday.
Although Moles is the first constitutional officer to announce that she will not seek re-election, two others are running for their seat for the first time. Both District Attorney Greg Newman and Sheriff Charlie McDonald were appointed to fill vacancies.
Asked about her plans now, Moles said she wants to rest then travel.
"Maybe do some volunteer work after I kind of catch my breath," she said. "I have a new great-niece and great-nephew and I look forward to spending time with them. I don't want them to grow up not knowing who I am."
One lives in the Charlotte area and the other in Northern Virginia, she said.
Lee King, has worked for the Henderson County tax assessor for the past 18 years, was the first candidate to sign up for the Register of Deeds office, although it is expected others will file.
"I've worked with the Register of Deeds office and I'd like to continue to bring the deeds on line from the formation of the county to the present day," he said.
Moles said two or three potential candidates have indicated they might run. She said she won't endorse anyone as her successor.
"I can't do that and I won't do it," she said. "People have come to me and talked to me about it. I wish everybody good luck that's looking to do it."
King, 42, is a ninth generation Henderson County native. His campaign treasurer, Hendersonville attorney Whitney Staton Hebert, joined him at the Board of Elections for the signup and filing of paperwork.
"I would like to work with the county commissioners to adopt an ordinance so that delinquent taxes are paid before a deed is recorded, so the buyer is not stuck with a tax bill they may not be aware of," said King, who is the delinquent tax collector for the county.
The Legislature recently passed a state law enabling counties to enact the local ordinance King recommends but so far Henderson County has not acted.
A genealogy enthusiast, King traces his roots to Samuel King, who fought at Valley Forge under Gen. George Washington before settling in Mills River. King's wife is a Stepp and he figures dozens if not hundreds of county residents are relatives, however distance. Whitney Staton Hebert is one of his many cousins.