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Archive for Election 2014

SCC to host political debate series

0915_DebateThe mere mention of words like “political debate” may cause some college students’ eyes to glaze over.

That’s not the case with members of Dr. Bucky Dann’s “Social Problems” class at Southwestern Community College.

Since the start of the fall semester, they’ve been studying up on regional and statewide issues in preparation for a series of debates that will be hosted in the Burrell Building conference center at SCC’s Jackson Campus over the next few weeks. Dr. Dann’s students will select and ask all questions of candidates at each event.

“A lot of times, debates are for older people,” said Gabrielle Beam, a 19-year-old Bryson City resident who’s pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at SCC. “I don’t think many people expect a teenager to care, much less know about these kinds of issues. So it’s cool to have this opportunity.”

The first debate, set for 7 p.m. on Sept. 25, will feature the six candidates (Independent Jack Debnam; Republicans Doug Cody and Charles Elders; and Democrats Boyce Deitz, Brian McMahan and Joe Ward) who are vying for three seats on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. On Oct. 9, Democratic N.C. Representative Joe Sam Queen (D) will debate Republican challenger Mike Clampitt (R). And on Oct. 30, N.C. Senator Jim Davis (R) will face challenger Jane Hipps (D).

The public is invited to attend all three, and WRGC radio (540 AM) of Sylva plans to broadcast each one live.

“It’s really important to be unbiased,” Beam said. “The great thing is that our classmates are really diverse. We all come from different backgrounds, and we’re all going to have input into which questions are asked. I think it’ll be fun.

Another of Dr. Dann’s students, 16-year-old Early College student Kendra Graham, said she and her classmates are taking seriously the responsibility of being granted such significant roles at the debates.

“I’m a little nervous to be honest,” said Graham, who lives in Cullowhee. “But it’ll be nice to surprise people who may not think 16- or 17-year-olds are engaged in the political process.”

“We want to style our questions so that each candidate can answer from a neutral zone and know that they’re not being picked on,” Graham added.

To prepare students for the commissioners’ debate, Dr. Dann has invited Jackson County media to attend a class session and provide insight on some of the critical issues facing Jackson County.

Dr. Dann said he’s been impressed by how his students have embraced this challenge.

“Preparing for this debate has involved a lot of research,” Dr. Dann said. “Having our students ask questions that they’ve prepared and selected for these events is a key element of the learning process, and I’m very proud of their approach to this event. I am confident that everyone who attends will be impressed with our students, and more importantly, we’ll all learn a lot more about the candidates and where they stand.”

Southwestern Community College Hosts Political Debate Series

Southwestern Community College will be hosting a series of political debates over the next few weeks at the Jackson Campus. Students in the “Social Problems” class are studying and researching regional and statewide issues, and they’ll be asking questions in these debates.

 

Thursday, Sept. 25 (7 p.m.) – Jackson County Commissioners

Doug Cody (R)

Boyce Deitz (D)

Jack Debnam (R)

Charles Elders (R)

Brian McMahan (D)

Joe Ward (D)

 

Thursday, Oct. 9 (7 p.m.) – NC House

Mike Clampitt (R)

Joe Sam Queen (D)

 

Thursday, Oct. 30 ( 7 p.m.) – NC Senate

Jim Davis (R)

Jane Hipps (D)

 

WCU to Host Political Debates

Candidates vying for elected office in three races to be decided by Western North Carolina voters in November have agreed to take part in a series of debates sponsored by Western Carolina University’s Public Policy Institute and Department of Political Science and Public Affairs.

The WCU Political Debate Series will begin Thursday, Sept. 4, with opponents for the U.S. House of Representatives District 11 – incumbent Mark Meadows (R-Jackson) and challenger Tom Hill (D-Henderson). The debate will be held in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center on the WCU campus.

Next up Tuesday, Sept. 23, will be the candidates in the N.C. House of Representatives District 19 race pitting incumbent Joe Sam Queen (D-Haywood) against Mike Clampitt (R-Swain). The debate will be held in Room 204 of the Health and Human Sciences Building on WCU’s West Campus.

Wrapping up the series Thursday, Oct. 2, will be the contenders for the N.C. Senate District 50 seat, with incumbent Jim Davis (R-Macon) and opponent Jane Hipps (D-Haywood). That debate also will be held in Room 204 of the Health and Human Sciences Building.

All debates will begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live online by WLOS-TV on www.wlos.com. All three debates are open to the public free of charge.

Topics discussed during each of the debates will be selected from questions submitted in advance to the PPI. Questions should be submitted by Friday, Aug. 15, to receive priority consideration. Questions must be submitted by registered voters in the district, should be emailed to ppi@wcu.edu, and must include the name of the sender and the county of residence.

Todd Collins, associate professor of political science and public affairs, and director of the Public Policy Institute, said that hosting the debates is in keeping with WCU’s mission as a regional comprehensive institution.

“As a regionally engaged university, we are excited to offer citizens in our area the opportunity to learn more about the candidates through our debate series,” Collins said. “We encourage all voters to learn about the issues and the candidates, to participate in the debates by submitting questions, to watch the debates in person or online, and to make an informed choice when they go to the polls in November.”

Low Voter Turn Out In Jackson County

More than 105,000 North Carolinians cast ballots Tuesday to decide 19 runoff contests across 37 counties.   For the first time since 2006, no statewide race required a second primary.

Turnout was higher than any second primary over the past decade. One-stop early voting accounted for 23% of overall turnout.  Polling places remained open throughout the day Tuesday, despite severe weather

The race to watch in Jackson County was the race for GOP Sheriff Candidate. Curtis Lambert received 129 votes and Jimmy Hodgins 106 votes. Lambert will be facing off against Democratic Chip Hall in November. Jackson County saw a low voter turn out for the run off race.  There was a total of 239 votes cast or 1.57% of the 15,243 registered voters.

Elections in North Carolina

election2014The State Board of Elections Thursday authenticated results for the May 6 Primary.

More North Carolinians voted early and within fewer days compared to 2010, the most recent non-presidential primary year. Early voting also formed a greater proportion of overall participation. The May Primary was the first election held under a compacted 10-day early voting schedule. Average votes-per-hour at one-stop polling locations increased 34% over 2010.

Statewide participation increased to 15.8% of registered voters compared to 14.4% in 2010.  More than 148,000 additional voters cast ballots in 2014 than in 2010.

Second primaries will be held Tuesday, July 15 to decide 19 contests in 37 counties.  Early voting begins Thursday, July 3.  No statewide ballot item required a second primary. Republican Candidate for Jackson County Sheriff Curtis Lambert will face challenger Jimmy Hodgins in a run off on the 15th.

The State Board unanimously denied the appeal of an elections protest filed by Bruce Davis, former candidate for the Democratic nomination in the Sixth Congressional District. Board members also voted unanimously to reprimand Jerry Wallin of the Madison County Board of Elections regarding a Facebook “like” of a candidate’s page.

The Agency’s review of county abstracts confirmed that the State Board’s website accurately displayed results submitted for each race.  The site had intermittently displayed an incorrect number of precincts reporting on election night.

Recount In Jackson County GOP Sheriff’s Race

election2014The GOP race for Sheriff is heating up in Jackson County! Tuesday, Jimmy Hodgins requested a run off after the canvass ballots were certified. There was no clear winner in the election meaning no candidate received the 40% plus one vote to be declared the party’s winner.

Curtis Lambert received 424 votes. Hodgins received 376 votes and Mary Rock 375.

Immediately, Hodgins requested a run off. However, Mary Rock has requested a recount of the ballots. According to Rock, she was told all day Tuesday that she was tied with Hodgins for second place. Later one ballot made the difference.  On Monday at 8:30 am there will be a recount of ballots. During the canvass, Rock picked up 5 votes and Hodgins 2 creating the 1 vote gap between the two candidates.

The run off race is slated for July 15th.

Run Off Expected in GOP Sheriff’s Race

election2014Run off elections are expected in the GOP Sheriff’s race in Jackson County. Since none of the 3 Republican candidates for Sheriff received the required 40% plus one vote to be the clear winner, a run off of the top 2 contenders could happen.

Candidate Curtis Lambert received 35.9% of the vote while Jimmy Hodgins had 32.3%. Mary Alice Rock received 31.8% of the vote.

There are several paper ballots yet to be counted. A canvas of the ballots is taking place and the certification is due Tuesday at 5:00 pm. Once the ballots are certified, the candidate in the second slot has 24 hours to request a run off which is expected.

WRGC Radio Representative Roy Burnette spoke with Jimmy Hodgins early Wednesday. Hodgins stated emphatically that if he is indeed the #2 candidate after the vote is certified, he will be requesting for a run off race. If a Federal run off is to take place that will be on July 15, otherwise the Sheriff’s run off is slated for June 24th.

Election Results!

US SENATE – REP (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 14 of 14
NAME ON BALLOT PARTY BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Thom Tillis REP 540 43.37 %
Greg Brannon REP 440 35.34 %
Mark Harris REP 124 9.96 %
Heather Grant REP 74 5.94 %
Ted Alexander REP 29 2.33 %
Jim Snyder REP 21 1.69 %
Alex Lee Bradshaw REP 12 0.96 %
Edward Kryn REP 5 0.40 %
US SENATE – DEM (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 14 of 14
NAME ON BALLOT PARTY BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Kay Hagan DEM 2,391 71.89 %
Will Stewart DEM 627 18.85 %
Ernest T. Reeves DEM 308 9.26 %
US SENATE – LIB (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 14 of 14
NAME ON BALLOT PARTY BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Sean Haugh LIB 7 77.78 %
Tim D’Annunzio LIB 2 22.22 %
US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 11 – DEM (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 14 of 14
NAME ON BALLOT PARTY BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Tom Hill DEM 1,972 65.95 %
Keith Ruehl DEM 1,018 34.05 %
NC STATE SENATE DISTRICT 50 – DEM (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 14 of 14
NAME ON BALLOT PARTY BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Jane Hipps DEM 2,164 64.04 %
Ron Robinson DEM 1,215 35.96 %
NC HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 119 – REP (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 14 of 14
NAME ON BALLOT PARTY BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Mike Clampitt REP 711 59.05 %
Dodie Allen REP 281 23.34 %
Aaron Littlefield REP 212 17.61 %
SHERIFF – REP (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 14 of 14
NAME ON BALLOT PARTY BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Curtis Lambert REP 417 35.92 %
Jimmy Hodgins REP 374 32.21 %
Mary Alice Rock REP 370 31.87 %
SHERIFF – DEM (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 14 of 14
NAME ON BALLOT PARTY BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Chip L. Hall DEM 1,559 42.43 %
Steve Lillard DEM 1,261 34.32 %
Doug Farmer DEM 397 10.81 %
Robin Gunnels DEM 357 9.72 %
Glen Biller DEM 88 2.40 %
Michael M. Gosnell DEM 12 0.33 %
SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE (HUDSON) (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 14 of 14
NAME ON BALLOT PARTY BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Robin Hudson 1,851 44.55 %
Eric Levinson 1,283 30.88 %
Jeanette Doran 1,021 24.57 %
BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT 2 (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 14 of 14
NAME ON BALLOT PARTY BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Ken Henke 3,757 98.45 %
Write-In (Miscellaneous) 59 1.55 %
BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT 4 (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 14 of 14
NAME ON BALLOT PARTY BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Ali Laird-Large 1,897 42.56 %
Wanda McCall Nicholson 1,314 29.48 %
Judy Watson Henry 1,238 27.78 %
Write-In (Miscellaneous) 8 0.18 %

BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT 5 (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 14 of 14
NAME ON BALLOT PARTY BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Margaret M. McRae 3,761 99.23 %
Write-In (Miscellaneous)

Mid-Term Primary Elections Tuesday

NorthCarolinaSealVoters across North Carolina have until 7:00 pm on Tuesday, May 6th, to cast their ballots. Though it’s a mid-term election there is plenty at stake particularly on a local level. In Jackson County alone, there are 6 Democratic candidates running for Sheriff.  Voters will also be choosing on school board candidates as well as N.C. House and Senate races.

Early voting began in April and ran through May 3rd. The 17 day one stop voting period was shortened to 10 days this election.

Currently, there are 26, 364 registered voters in Jackson County. On a state level mid-term primaries usually see 10-12% voter turn out.

Precinct Change For Sylva

voteVoters in Sylva’s South Ward precinct will now go to the new Skyland Service Center to cast their ballots in the primary elections and not the Community Service Center as they have previously. The Jackson County Board of Elections sent postcards to each of the precinct’s 2,719 registered voters notifying them of the change. The election board moved to Skyland Service Center (previously Southern Lumber) early this year. That means a One-Stop Absentee Voting station also will be set-up there; state law requires early voting take place where a county election board’s offices are located. For the Tuesday, May 6, primary, one-stop stations will be open in the Cullowhee and Cashiers communities, too. A fourth station, in Cherokee, will probably will be added for the Nov. 4 general election. The deadline to register to vote in North Carolina is 25 days before Election Day.