Mendenhall, Hariston file for commissioners race

By Nicholas Elmes -

Rev. Gregory Hairston, a Democrat from Walnut Cove, and Ronnie Mendenhall, a Republican from Germanton, have filed to run in the March primaries for the Stokes County Board of Commissioners.

Mendenhall recently announced his retirement as Stokes County Superintendent of School, a position he has held since 2011.

“I still have a desire to serve the people of Stokes County,” said Mendenhall.

Hairston serves as the president of the Stokes County NAACP, president of the London High School Alumni Association and pastor of Rising Star Baptist Church, and is a member of the East Stokes Outreach Ministries board of directors and the East Walnut Cove Park Board of Directors. He was a past manager with R.J. Reynolds and has served in a variety of leadership roles with the Masons. He has be vocal in recent years over the impact of fracking and coal ash on the local environment and also been active in trying to secure more funding for community parks and trying to increase activities for youth in the county.

“There needs to be some change in the complexity of the County Commissioners,” Hairston said Tuesday. “I want to ensure that people have the quality of life they are supposed to and have a voice in government. I feel that sometimes leaders do not demonstrate concern for the constituents who have put them into office.”

Hairston said one key focus for him would be improving the economy in Stokes County.

“There have been some prime opportunities that we have failed to get on board with,” he said. “It is continuing to hurt the economy for the Stokes County citizens. I will be looking at all means of creativity to draw companies to come to the county so we can boost the economy and get more jobs for Stokes County citizens.”

He said he would also be focused on improving activities for youth.

“I want to draw something in here for the youth,” he said. “I will be looking at additional centers that could be provided by the county where they could develop skills and have a place to go. something sort of like a YMCA.”

Hairston is the first Democrat to register for the contest for two Board of Commissioners seats currently held by Jimmy Walker and Leon Inman.

Neither Inman nor Walker, both Republicans, have filed for the March primaries yet, but King resident Dennis Robinson has also filed to run in the Republican primary.

Filing for the March primary began on Dec. 1 and will end at noon on Monday, Dec. 21. Three local seats, the Register of Deeds and two county commissioners seats will be on the ballot.

Candidates file for other offices

— Incumbent Kathy Young, of Danbury, has filed to run for re-election as the Register of Deeds.

— Incumbent Rep. Kyle Hall has filed to run for re-election to the 91st District North Carolina House of Representatives.

— Incumbent Sen. Shirley Randleman has filed to run for re-election to the 30th District North Carolina Senate seat.

— District Court Judge Bill Southern filed for re-election.

— District Court Judge Angela Puckett filed for a Superior Court Judge (District 17B) seat.

— Congressman Mark Walker, a Republican of Greensboro, filed at the state office for re-election. Jim Roberts, of Pilot Mountain, and Bruce Davis, of High Point, both Democrats, also filed for the 6th Congressional District seat.

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.

By Nicholas Elmes

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