Appeals court reverses filing decision

Filing period open for House, Senate, Congressional races

By RICK CURL
Senior staff writer
Posted 12/7/21

The North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed an earlier decision to suspend filing for the North Carolina Senate, House of Representatives and the United States House Monday night, paving the way for …

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Appeals court reverses filing decision

Filing period open for House, Senate, Congressional races

Posted

The North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed an earlier decision to suspend filing for the North Carolina Senate, House of Representatives and the United States House Monday night, paving the way for candidates to get their names on the March primary ballot, according to the State Board of Elections.

The full appellate court ruling vacated the temporary stay issued earlier in the day Monday by a three-member panel of the court.

The first to take advantage of the reversal was Harnett County’s State Rep. Howard Penny. Penny met the workers at the door Tuesday morning as he filed his paperwork for reelection to the District 53 seat.

Penny, who took over the seat after the resignation of former Rep. David Lewis, is seeking his second term and first full term in the House.

“It’s my honor to serve the citizens of House District 53 and to continue my service in the legislature,” Penny said. “I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens and doing my best to represent those folks in Raleigh.”

Joining Penny was State Sen. Jim Burgin. The Republican incumbent is seeking his third term in the District 12 seat.

“I’m excited to run again,” Burgin said. “I thoroughly enjoy being in the Senate. There are so many things we’ve gotten done in the budget. Mental health care, help for new mothers. I think we’ve helped a lot of people and look forward to being able to continue to serve.”

The temporary stay came in the wake of accusations of gerrymandering by the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, Inc. against the Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly. In the newly revised order, the court did not directly address the issues at hand. The court only issued a reversal denying the plaintiff’s motion and reinstated filing for the seats. The motion only said “the Court shall promptly rule on the pending ... Prohibition.”

No date was listed as to when the court will hear the case and make a final determination. So, for now at least, candidates in the General Assembly and U.S. House are able to file the paperwork necessary to get on the March 2022 Primary ballot.

A limited number of candidates filed for races across Harnett County Monday, including Primary elections for the sheriff, board of commissioners, clerk of superior court and school board.

Sheriff Wayne Coats, Harnett County Clerk of Superior Court Renee Whittenton and District 5 school board member Don Godfrey — all incumbents and Republicans — filed for a shot at another term in office on Monday.

Two political newcomers also filed. Democrat Sharon Gainey of Lillington signed up for a run at the Harnett County Schools Board of Education’s District 1 seat. Republican Anna Olivia Bryant filed for a chance at the Harnett County Board of Commissioners District 1 seat.

In Johnston County, incumbents Sheriff Steve Bizzell, Clerk of Superior Court Michelle Creech Ball and Register of Deeds Craig Oliver filed for reelection on Monday.

They were joined by several candidates for Johnston County Public Schools Board of Education. Stuart Lee, Rick Mercer, Terry Tippett and Joe Preston are all seeking to join the board as newcomers.

Filing for reelection to his District 5 seat on the Johnston County Board of Commissioners was Patrick Harris.

Rick Curl can be reached at rcurl@mydailyrecord.com or at 910-230-2038.

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