No papers filed for county primary

By Thomas Wilson

   With one week until a candidacy deadline, no citizen has formally turned in qualifying papers to run in the Republican primary for the county assessor of property's office.
   The Carter County Republican Party is holding a county primary for the assessor of property's office - presently held by Gerald Holly that will coincide with the Presidential Preference Primary that will be held on Feb. 10, 2004.
   Through Wednesday, only Holly had picked up qualifying papers from the Carter County Election Commission. The deadline to file candidacy papers for the county primary is Dec. 11. Holly was appointed to the office after former assessor John Holsclaw retired in February.
   The Carter County Democratic Party did not seek to hold a county primary. However, the party may hold a caucus to choose a candidate for the primary up until noon on Feb. 10.
   The county has a light local election schedule for 2004. Other than the assessor's office, four of the county's eight school board seats will be up and the city of Watauga will hold its election for city commissioners.
   State primaries and county general election will be held Aug. 5, 2004. The state and federal election, including the presidential election, is held Nov. 2, 2004.
   Election Commission officials are also seeking to realign a handful of Roan Mountain citizens to move their polling place closer to their homes.
   Election officials will request redrawing the existing population boundary line to move 24 Roan Mountain residents from the 6th District to the 2nd district. Hampton and Elk Mills residents fall under the 6th District while the 2nd District covers most of Roan Mountain and Tiger Valley.
   The boundary designation would affect residents of Millie Harrison Lane, Potter Lane, Kinsey Garden Lane, Hamby Road, John Bennett Lane, Mountain View Lane, Andy Arnett Road and Phil Arnett Lane. Presently, those citizens vote in the Hampton precinct. The realigned boundary would move those citizens into the Roan Mountain precinct, which lies in closer proximity to those residences.
   "They want to be in the Roan Mountain precinct and we are trying to help them go back to where they want to be," said Laura Tester, the county's deputy administrator of elections.
   Election officials will also request the Happy Valley High School area be formally brought into the 7th District from the 5th District. That realignment request would move seven residents from the 5th District into the 7th District.
   The proposals to move the district lines will be presented to the County Commission at its December meeting scheduled for Monday.