ELIZABETHTOWN — Bladen County voters will have a number of primary races to decide in March, along with a referendum for a quarter-cent sales tax hike.
The filing deadline arrived on Monday with a number of last-minute candidates filing for office and creating several contested races.
The primary for seats on the Bladen County Board of Commissioners filled up during the filing period. Those races include:
— District 1, where incumbent Delilah Blanks has already announced her retirement, both Ophelia Munn-Goins and Anthony McKoy have filed for the seat as Democrats. Munn-Goins is currently serving on the Board of Education and was its chairman in 2015.
— District 2, incumbent Democrat Daniel Dowless will not be challenged in March.
— District 3, incumbent Democrat Wayne Edge will be challenged in March by Democrat Kenneth Register Jr.
— District 3, Republican challenger Ashley Trivette has filed and in November will face the winner of the Democratic primary.
— Countywide, Democrat challengers Avery Rising Jr. and Pamela Benton will challenge incumbents Jimmie Smith and Michael Cogdell.
— Countywide, incumbent Republicans David Gooden, a former county commissioner, will face off against Billy Ray Britt. The winner in March will join the two winners from the Democratic primary in November.
— Countywide, Libertarian Randy Crow will challenge for a seat in November.
In the race for available seats with the Bladen County Board of Election:
— District 1, Democrats Glenn McKoy and Sabrina Murchison have filed.
— District 2, Democrats Wilbur Smith Jr., who is the incumbent chairman, and Berry Lewis, a former county commissioner, will face off in March.
— District 3, incumbent Democrat Bonnell Walker will be unopposed for her seat.
In other March primary races:
— Incumbent Democrat William Brisson has filed for re-election to his N.C. House District 22 seat and will be challenged by Democrat Ben Snyder.
Three challengers will not face opposition in the primary, but will face off against each other in November for Ken Waddell’s N.C. House District 46 seat. Those candidates are Republican Brenden Jones, Democrat Timothy Benton and Libertarian Thomas Howell.
Voters in March will also have another chance to determine whether a referendum for a quarter-cent sales tax is successful. Last year, a similar referendum with benefits to go toward education was defeated twice. This time, if successful, the referendum would be used to offset property taxes in Bladen County.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.