Primaries set for commissioner race

By Nicholas Elmes -

Stokes County Republicans will get to choose their candidates for the Stokes County Board of Commissioners and the 91st District North Carolina House of Representatives seat during the March primaries.

Filling for the races closed Monday with a number of last minute candidates throwing their hat in for the race.

Newcomer Randy Cook and incumbent Jimmy Walker have joined a crowded field of Republican candidates for two seats on the board currently held by Walker and Leon Inman. Inman announced earlier this month he would not be seeking re-election.

Cook, a Lawsonville area resident, said he is a Stokes County native and local business owner. He said he runs Cooks Pest Management and also pastors at Shining Light Baptist Church.

“A few folks sought us out and talked to us about considering running,” he said Monday. “I began to think about it and pray about it and it seemed like some folks were concerned about the county. We believe this election will be a very critical election.

“I just want to make sure we have a vote and a voice,” he added. “I strongly believe we can represent the majority of values in Stokes County.”

He said he had always been focused on improving life for young people, having worked with children in juvenile detention centers.

Cook will join five other Republican candidates for the board, Walker, Becky Boles, Ronnie Mendenhall, Allen Brown, and Dennis Robinson in the March primaries.

Boles said this week that she had joined the race because she felt “like it is time,” noting that she has spent her career learning how different parts of community work and trying to help.

“Now I would like to know more about our county government,” she said. “It really bothers me tremendously to see the open farm land not being used. It bothers me to see homes in the county abandoned. Somehow or another there has to be a solution. I feel like maybe I can be able to bring a difference.

“I really do love the people of this county,” she added. “I was always brought up to think that for any problem there is a solution. We just have to be diligent and find it. I feel like we are at a threshold where we can be a hair away from it being better or a hair away from it being a lot worse. I just want to do the absolute best to find solutions to the problems and bring about wonderful change.”

Two Democrats, Rev. Gregory Hairston and Michael Hylton, have filed to run for the board, but they will not be on the primary ballot since there were not enough candidates to trigger a primary.

Republicans will also have a choice between three candidates for the N.C. House 91st District.

Lawsonville resident Robert Knight and Reidsville resident Ira Tilley have filled to challenge incumbent Kyle Hall for that seat.

Mayodan resident Eugene Russell, a Democrat, has also filed to run for the state house seat.

Other races:

Incumbent 30th District North Carolina Republican Senator Shirley Randleman will face no challengers in the March primaries, but will face Democrat Micheal Holleman, a Wilksboro resident, in the November election.

Incumbent Stokes County Register of Deeds Kathy Young will run unopposed for re-election in the November election.

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

By Nicholas Elmes

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