More candidates emerge for McDowell County Commission, N.C. Senate

Even though the filing period officially ended last week, more candidates came forward for this year’s elections.

Another person has announced plans to run as an unaffiliated candidate for the McDowell County Commission. Keisha Miller Hastings, 41, of 111 Cross Creek Drive in Marion announced on social media that she is seeking signatures on a petition so she can appear on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate. Hastings has to gather 1,160 signatures on a petition and submit that petition to the McDowell County Board of Elections by May 8. The signatures then must be verified by election officials. She has worked an 18-year career as a nurse, with 15 years at McDowell Hospital, according to her Facebook page.

Her situation is similar to that of Chad Marsh, who is also seeking to gather 1,160 signatures so he can appear an unaffiliated candidate for commissioner.

Deputy Elections Director Jane Dale said the required signatures represent 4 percent of the total number of registered voters in McDowell County. This process for unaffiliated candidates is based on state law.

Dale added she was not aware of any other people in McDowell seeking to get on the ballot as unaffiliated candidates.

Furthermore, another Democratic candidate for the 47th District N.C. Senate seat has been recently confirmed by election officials.

David Wheeler, 52, of Spruce Pine is seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party for that N.C. Senate seat. Wheeler is the chief executive officer of International Higher Education Group LLC. This company is focused on providing international university and college students with scholarships and global choices through a match-making platform.

He is making his first attempt at seeking elected office.

Christopher Rumfelt and Cheryl Swofford, both of Marion, are two other Democrats seeking the nomination. Whoever wins in the May 8 primary will go on to face Republican incumbent Ralph Hise in November.

The filing period for the McDowell Soil and Water Conservation Board will take place June 11 through July 6. The filing period for the local judicial races will take place from June 18 through June 29.

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