Buncombe Commissioners: The slate is swelling

The opening of the filing period for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners race is still nearly a week away, but already the horses are jostling the gate. And for good reason: This year, all four commissioners’ seats are open, along with the chairman’s seat.

And while we can’t be sure exactly who will opt into the race (heck, you may have looked at yourself in the mirror this morning and said, “I should run for county commissioner”), several folks have expressed a public interest in the contest.

On the Democratic side are current Asheville City Council member and YWCA Executive Director Holly Jones, retired Progress Energy accounts manager Vernon Dover, small-business owner Keith Thomson and former A-B Tech President K. Ray Bailey.

On the Republican side, so far there’s less to talk about. Buncombe County Republican Party Secretary George Keller said Monday that while several members have been batting the idea around, “No one at this time has committed.”

“I wish I could tell you that we had 14 or so people planning on running,” Keller said.

Of those whose posteriors currently rest just above the commissioners’ dais, Bill Stanley and Carol Peterson are expected to run for re-election. Seated Commissioner David Young has said he will vacate his seat in order to run for N.C. State Treasurer. And as for the chairmanship, Democrat David Gantt is expected to wrestle (so to speak) with Republican and current chair Nathan Ramsey for that seat.

Filing for the contest begins at noon on Feb. 11 and ends at noon on Feb. 29. The primary takes place on May 12, with the general election falling on Nov. 4.

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