Several Wilkes County Republicans have announced plans to run for elected office in 2022.
The filing period for next year’s election is Dec. 6-17. Party primaries are March 8, 2022. The general election is Nov. 8, 2022.
Up for election in 2022 are Wilkes sheriff, Wilkes clerk of Superior Court, district attorney, three District Court judges and one Superior Court judge for the 23rd Judicial District, two Wilkes County commissioners, two Wilkes Soil and Water Conservation supervisors, state and federal House and Senate representatives, N.C. Court of Appeals judges and N.C. Supreme Court justices.
Two Wilkes Board of Education members will be elected when party primaries are held.
Wilkes Democratic Party Kathryn Charles said Monday that she wasn’t aware of any Wilkes Democrats publicly announcing candidacies at this point.
Shirley Randleman of Wilkesboro, a former state legislator, and Eddie Settle of the Pleasant Hill community, chairman of the Wilkes County commissioners, both said in interviews that they will file as Republican candidates to represent Wilkes in the N.C. Senate.
Randleman represented Wilkes, Surry and Stokes counties in the 30th District of the Senate from 2013-2018. Court-ordered redistricting put Wilkes with Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany and the western half of Surry in the 45th District. It left Randleman facing incumbent Deanna Ballard of Blowing Rock in a GOP primary race, which she lost.
Randleman represented District 94 in the House from 2009 to 2013. Before that, she was Wilkes clerk of Superior Court for many years.
Settle was elected to his third four-year term as a county commissioner in 2020.
Randleman and Settle both said they like the counties Wilkes is with on preliminary Senate maps tied to 2020 Census results, but it’s still early in the process.
County groupings in plans developed by a Duke University research team being considered by the Senate redistricting committee all put Wilkes with Surry and Alexander counties. Some add Stokes and the others add Alexander to this new district.
Randleman represented Surry and Stokes in the 30th and noted that her husband, Ronnie Randleman, is from Yadkin. Settle’s home in eastern Wilkes is less than five miles from the Yadkin line. He lives even closer to Surry and his business is in Elkin. He said he has close connections in both Surry and Yadkin.
Randleman and Settle both announced their Senate candidacies in Surry and Yadkin county Republican meetings last week. Randleman also announced her candidacy at the Sept. 23 Wilkes GOP meeting. Settle said at that meeting that he was considering running for the Senate.
Rep. Jeffrey Elmore of North Wilkesboro said Monday that he will seek reelection to the House. The Republican is in his fifth two-year House term. He currently represents the 94th District, which includes the most heavily populated portions of Wilkes and all of Alexander counties.
County groupings for House districts in plans developed by the Duke University team show Wilkes with various other counties.
Barring legal challenges, districts being determined now will be used in every election for the U.S. House of Representatives and General Assembly for the next decade.
North Carolina will now have a congressional district map with 14 districts, which reflects and additional district due to North Carolina’s population growth in the last decade.
Wilkes County Republican Chairman Doug Cotton said Chris Shew announced at a recent Wilkes GOP meeting that he will seek reelection in 2022. Shew, of the Antioch community, will be running for his fourth four-year term.
Wilkes Board of Elections Director Kim Caudill said Eric Byrd of the Boomer community recently came by the board of elections to reactivate his campaign committee to run for Wilkes sheriff in 2022. Byrd is a Republican who lost when he ran for Wilkes sheriff in 2018.
Regina C. Billings of the Hays community said in an interview Friday that she will file as a candidate for her second four-year term as Wilkes clerk of Superior Court.
Cotton said Laura Byrd Luffman, an attorney in North Wilkesboro, announced at a Wilkes Republican meeting that she will be a candidate for one of the three District Court judge seats on the local ballot in 2022. Luffman is the daughter of Chief District Court Judge David Byrd. Cotton said Byrd announced that he is not seeking reelection.
Republicans David Gambill and Brian Minton are the two county commissioners up for reelection in 2022. Minton, in his first four-year term, said Monday that he preferred to not make a statement yet.
At least two other Republicans have indicated their interest in running for county commissioner.
Wilkes Board of Education members Rudy Holbrook and Sharron Huffman are up for reelection in 2022. Holbrook, who is board chairman, said he is strongly considering running for reelection to another four-year term. Huffman said she “definitely is considering running again.”
School board races are non-partisan, but Holbrook and Huffman are both Republicans.