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All incumbent commissioners running; three file for School Board

Three candidates filed for Henderson County School Board and all three incumbent county commissioners, Clerk of Superior Court J. Tyler Ray and Register of Deeds Lee King filed for re-election while candidates for Congress and the state Legislature were blocked from filing on the opening day of qualifying on Monday.

The N.C. Court of Appeals on Monday morning suspended filing for state legislative and congressional seats, handing a short-lived victory to plaintiffs who have sued to throw out the newly draw districts as radical partisan gerrymanders.
County elections directors across North Carolina received word that the state Court of Appeals on Monday paused the elections process for the General Assembly and Congress at 11:39 a.m., 21 minutes before filing opened at noon. The full Court of Appeals overturned the order by a three-judge panel Monday evening.
As a result of the earlier order, Henderson County Board of Elections officials turned away the first two candidates who came to elections headquarters to file: Chelsea Walsh, the former Henderson County Republican Party chair, who plans to run for the House District 114 currently held by Tim Moffitt, and Dennis Justice, who has run for office many times in the past. Justice said he plans to file for a seat in the General Assembly, but refused to say whether he planned to file for the House District 114 or for Senate District 48.
Moffitt announced on Thursday that he would run for the 48th Senate District seat two days after the incumbent, Chuck Edwards, announced that he will seek the Republican nomination for the 14th Congressional District.
Although speculation had mounted that former County Manager Steve Wyatt could be a candidate for either the House or Senate seat, Wyatt put that rest in a statement he sent to supporters Sunday night.
“I have consistently stated that if a qualified candidate steps forward (for state Senate) that I would support he or she,” he said. “Tim is uniquely qualified in my judgment and thus I will be supporting him unequivocally.
“As to Tim’s soon to be vacated House seat I am aware that others are considering running and this allows me to focus on fulfilling my current obligations and responsibilities to Appalachian State , my business partners and more importantly, my family. Serving as a Trustee at App State has been a longtime desire and I have just begun my term. The potential for the university is virtually unlimited and I am very excited about what lies ahead. My business venture has the potential to positively impact each city , town and county, as well as every taxpayer in the state.”
In the other House seat that includes Henderson County, Rep. Jake Johnson announced that he will run for re-election in House District 113. He said his legislative priorities would include "cleaning up our election process and implementing Voter ID, reinstating a system of checks and balances so one person does not have the sole authority to shut down our state and issue mandates, ensuring Critical Race Theory is banned from our classrooms, and working hard to make North Carolina the most military-friendly state in the nation."


Board of Commissioners

Bill Lapsley, who filed for election to a third term, was re-elected as chair of the Board of Commissioners Monday night. Rebecca McCall, who filed for re-election to a second term, was re-elected as vice chair. Michael Edney, who served two terms from 1988 to 1996 and has been back on the board since 2010, filed to run for a sixth term. Amy Lynn Holt, a former School Board chair, has announced her plans to challenge Edney in District 1.


School Board

The three candidates who filed for School Board seats were incumbent Jay Egolf and challengers Aaron Purcell, who has spoken against mask mandates at School Board meetings, and Mary Ellen Kustin, a mother of two who lives in Hendersonville. They will be joined by Alyssa Norman, a registered nurse and mother of two who announced on Friday that she will run for School Board on a platform that supports a mask-optional policy and emphasizes parental choice.