Candidates have more time to file

The candidate filing deadline for local office is being pushed back this year due to the once-in-a-decade remapping of election district lines.

According to Halifax County Registrar Judy Meeler, the deadline for candidates to file for office may be extended to August 23, depending on just how long it takes local and state officials to redraw the county’s eight voting districts. The district lines have to be redrawn every ten years following release of the latest census figures.

On Tuesday Halifax County Administrator George Nester said the county is consulting with the Southside Planning District Commission and its GIS information to determine racial and demographic ratios which must be considered.

“While there was not a lot of disparity in our census figures, the county did lose about three percent of its population, a drop of 1,114 persons,” Nester said.

The remaining 36,241 persons must be divided as equally as possible into the eight election districts with at least two of those — ED-3 and ED-4 — having a majority of minority residents. “We have to stay below a five percent discrepancy,” Nester said, noting that the districts, after being drawn, will have to meet with approval from the U.S. Justice Department.

On Thursday during their annual board retreat, Supervisors are expected to approve the appointment of Detra Carr to represent ED-4 on the local redistricting committee. Seven other members have already been approved: Vicky Barker of ED-1, Jeff Francisco of ED-2; Janie Luck, ED-3, Donald Throckmorton, ED-5, Dillard McDowell, ED-6, Garland Ricketts, ED-7 and Cliff Somerville, ED-8.

Nester said he expects the committee to begin its work within the next week or so, in the expectation of completing the reapportionment by June 15. It will then be sent to the Justice Department for approval.

Meeler said Monday that both declared candidates for sheriff, incumbent Stanley Noblin and challenger Fred Clark, have picked up packets from the registrar’s office to fill out, as have Treasurer Linda Foster and Commissioner of the Revenue Brenda Powell and a challenger for her seat, Leigh Edwards. She also said Lottie Nunn is the only supervisor to have picked up a packet to run for the Board of Supervisors in ED-7.

Other seats on the Board of Supervisors to be filled in November at those in ED-1, ED-4, ED-5, ED-6 and ED-8.

ED-1 School Board member Devin Snead has picked up a packet to run for that seat, as well as another to run for sheriff. Snead said Monday he will decide this week which office to seek.

Also picking up a packet was ED-8 trustee Walter Potts. Others whose seats will be up for re-election include Joe Gasperini of ED-4, Roger Long of ED-5 and Stuart Comer in ED-7.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Kim White has also picked up her package to seek re-election to her position, Meeler said. Another county resident, David Shapard, picked up a packet to run for a constitutional office, although he did not specify which one he might seek.

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