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Voters to choose sheriff, county commissioners in primary

From a Republican U.S. Senate primary that has draw national attention to a county Register of Deeds office open for the first time in 16 years, Henderson County voters will choose nominees in Tuesday's primary election. For many of the offices, the primary will determine the ultimate winner because no Democrat has filed.

The balance of power is at stake in the Board of Commissioners race. County Commissioner Larry Young, who is seeking a fourth term, is expected to seek the chairmanship of the board if he wins re-election and one of two other incumbents loses.

Michael Edney, seeking a fourth term on the board, faces challengers Andrew Riddle of Flat Rock and Hogan Corn of East Flat Rock.

Retired sheriff's deputy Tim Griffin is challenging Tommy Thompson for the District 4 seat. Thompson was elected Clerk of Superior Court in 1974 at age 23, and with a victory Tuesday could achieve a rare and possibly unprecedented record of winning 10 out of 10 countywide elections over a span of four decades.

The resignation of Sheriff Rick Davis in December 2011 resulted in the appointment of Charlie McDonald three months later. Seeking election to a four-year term in his first political campaign, McDonald faces Michael Brown, a state Highway Patrol trooper who ran in 2002 and 2006, and Fletcher Police Chief Erik Summey. The nominee faces Democrat Marty Katz in November.

The Register of Deeds job is on the ballot with no incumbent for the first time since 1998. Running for the seat are Henderson County delinquent tax collector Lee King, paralegal Evona Kilpatrick and former County Commissioner School Board member Shannon Baldwin.

Challenger Ronnie Edwards is trying to rally support from teachers in an effort to deny state Rep. Chuck McGrady the Republican nomination for a third term in the General Assembly. The winner faces Libertarian Shelby Moody in the November election.

Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.

Despite fewer days of early voting, more voters turned out in the pre-Election Day period than in 2010, the last off-year election. This year 5,794 residents voted early, up 23 percent from the 2010 total of 4,720. The voter turnout in the 2010 primary overall was 17.43 percent.