Hyde County Commissioner candidates in the 2016 forum at the Community Center , left to right Thomas Midgette, Earl Pugh Jr and Tom Pahl. Photo: P. Vankevich

By Peter Vankevich

With the candidate filing deadline for the 2020 general election approaching, which is this Friday at noon, only one candidate has filed for the three county commissioner elections.

Two of the incumbents, Tom Pahl (Ocracoke) vice chair and Earl Pugh Jr, chair (Lake Landing) have announced that they will not seek reelection. The third, Benjamin Simmons III (Fairfield), has not made an official announcement and didn’t return a phone call.

Thomas Midgette threw his hat into the ring as a Democrat last Friday for the Lake Landing Township. He ran against Pugh (R) in the 2016 election, losing 1,219 to 841.

Pahl encourage folks to run.

“We have done a lot of work as a community over the last three years and we’re going to do a lot together over the next year. I regret that I do not have the time or the energy to put my name forward for another four-year term,” he said in a text message this morning.  “I’ve worked with a lot of really great community members, especially over the last three months, since the storm. Any number of those folks could take the reins and move this community forward in a very positive way.”

He said the position requires some sacrifice, but the rewards exceed the cost.

“And by that I mean the support, the kindness and the gratification that comes from working with the good folks of Ocracoke,” he continued. “I have hopes that someone will see the importance of stepping forward and will do so by Friday.”

Candidate filings for the state-wide 2020 elections began on Dec. 2 and will close noon on Friday, Dec. 20. Those wishing to run as unaffiliates have until March 3 in order to be on the November ballot.

Those wishing to file, can go to the Hyde County Elections Office at1223 Main St., inside the Public Safety Building, Swan Quarter. The office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Friday and closed Thursday.

The following county seats are up for election:
County Commissioner – Fairfield Township
County Commissioner – Lake Landing Township
County Commissioner – Ocracoke Township
Board of Education At-Large (2 seats)
Engelhard Sanitary District (2 seats)
Ocracoke Sanitary District (2 seats)
Swan Quarter Sanitary District (2 seats)

One seat in the Soil & Water Conservation District is up for election. Filing for this seat starts at noon on June 8 and ends at noon on July 6.