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Primary filing period gives light during dreary days

Ah, what a difference six months can make.

Back in July, the sun was out. The air was warm.

And, for the most part, candidates for municipal elections, or interested voters for that matter, were nowhere to be found.

In December, the sun can't be found.

The air is cold and the ground is damp.

And candidates and voter interest are sprouting up all over the place.

Even before the 2016 primary filing period opened at noon on Tuesday, folks were already waiting in the lobby of the county's Board of Elections to either file for office or seek re-election.

To be fair, the municipal election this past November did have a little buzz, with contested races in Franklinton, both for the mayor's seat and the board of commissioners, and for the Louisburg Town Council.

And some incumbents were ousted, which always creates intrigue.

But, the truth of the matter is, if you spoke to 10 people on the street on Nov. 3, maybe two of them knew an election was taking place.

And, maybe one of them had cast a vote.

I don't expect that will be the case this coming spring and fall, particularly with a hotly contested presidential primary and then winner-take-all November general election which could pit Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump -- that's made for television stuff, right there.

Locally, there will be plenty to sort through, just based on what we know from the few hours after the filing period began.

The school board will see its first election contested battles in at least 10 years.

And since those seats are non partisan, the winner of those races will be declared in the spring.

And, a current school board member could have an impact on the General Assembly, as School Board Chair Gil Johnson has filed for Sen. Chad Barefoot's seat.

If anyone else files, we'll have a primary battle for the party nomination. If not, the two would face off in the fall.

There will be definite changes on the county board of commissioners as both Shane Mitchell and Don Lancaster will not seek re-election.

Already, a Democrat has filed for Mitchell's seat and a Republican has expressed that he would, so we'll see what happens there.

No one had filed for Lancaster's seat by press time, but I suspect that will change soon.

So, yeah, there will be a lot to focus on during the filing period, the spring primary and the upcoming general election.

It's nice to have something to focus on this fall and winter, because, quite frankly, this dreary weather is depressing.

But that should change in six months.


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