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Chuckin' it: Filing opens amid departures

Things are rockin' in the new early signup period for local and state elections.


Within hours of Chris Whitmire’s announcement that he won't run for re-election to the state House, Cody Henson of Rosman announced his plans to run for the seat. State Sen. Tom Apodaca on Monday announced his retirement, setting off the speculation carrousel and triggering what amounted to a preemptive strike by a candidate who had been exploring a run and lining up support for weeks.

Yet, for all the announcements and jockeying, when the dust settled on Day 1 of the new Dec. 1-21 filing period, only two candidates had officially signed up for office at the Henderson County Board of Elections and both were named Chuck: state Rep. Chuck McGrady and 48th Senate District candidate Chuck Edwards.

A Transylvania County native, Rosman High School graduate and current member of the United States Marine Corps Reserves, Henson said he has much in common with voters in the 113th House District, which covers Transylvania and Polk counties and the southern border of Henderson County.

“My days are spent just like yours, working to provide for my wife, Kelsey, and our son, Bo,” Henson said in a news release. “My goal, as your Republican representative, is to make your voice heard in Raleigh. We all have the same concerns with taxes, education, infrastructure, jobs, and quality of life in our small corner of Western North Carolina. I stand firm as a Christian conservative, not a casual compromiser.”

Meanwhile, perennial candidate Dennis Justice announced he was running for Senate on a platform that the state had wasted money on the constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage.

Among the names also talked about for the Senate seat was former state Rep. Tim Moffitt of Asheville, a West Henderson High School graduate who lost his re-election bid last November. Moffitt did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Justice, 45, is a widower and single father who has run for the Henderson County School Board three times and the Board of Commissioners twice. He also ran for mayor of Fletcher last year.
“Four years ago, I strongly considered running against Sen. Apodaca as I was strongly opposed to the so-called ‘marriage amendment,’” Justice said in a story published by Mountain Xpress. “I strongly regret I did not, I let a lot of friends in the LGBT community down by not running. But everything I warned the Republican Party about this hurtful and unneeded amendment was proven correct as it did nothing to save a single marriage nor delay the eventual legalization of gay marriage. As the amendment is now worthless, there should a referendum this November to repeal it.”

Former state Rep. David Guice, a Transylvania County native who is commissioner of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice in the state Department of Public Safety, is regarded as a potential candidate for either the open Senate or open House seat. Guice, 60, represented District 113 from 2009-2012, when Gov. Beverly Perdue appointed him director of community corrections.

It all makes for an election season that already has brought blasts from the past — Dennis Justice and David Guice — a fresh face, in young Mr. Henson, and promises to bring who knows what else.