Kandie Smith

Kandie Smith

Pitt County State Rep. Kandie Smith is the latest candidate to announce she will seek a new office just ahead of filing for the March 8 primary for the 2022 election.

Smith, currently in her second two-year term as the N.C. House District 8 representative, held an event in Rocky Mount to announce she will seek the Democratic nomination for the new N.C. Senate District 5 seat, which encompasses all of Pitt and Edgecombe counties. Smith is a former Greenville mayor and city council member.

“For more than a decade I’ve fought on behalf of the people of Pitt County and eastern North Carolina,” Smith said. “From my time in local government, securing projects like the Town Creek Culvert, which was the largest state grant ever given to a local infrastructure project, up through my experience in the General Assembly fighting for $215 million to fund the New Brody School of Medicine at ECU, I focus on leading with action and delivering for the people of our area.

“Serving as your next senator, I am confident that we can continue the critical work of defending and fighting for the priorities of all eastern North Carolinians.”

District 5 included Pitt and Greene counties prior to the redistricting completed by the state General Assembly last month. The current seat holder, Greenville Democrat Don Davis, announced earlier this week that he intended to run for the District 2 seat in the U.S. Congress.

District 2 is made up of many of the counties included in U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield’s current District 1. Butterfield announced he would not seek re-election shortly after the new lines were approved.

Former Democratic state Sen. Erica Smith of Gaston dropped out of her bid for U.S. Senate to seek the seat along with Davis and Democratic state Rep. James Gailliard of Rocky Mount.

Republicans Sandy Roberson, Rocky Mount’s mayor, and Sandy Smith of Greenville also intend to run for the seat.

Only a sliver of Pitt County near Bethel is in District 2, but Congressional seats don’t have a residency requirement, so both Smith and Davis can seek the seat.

Most of Pitt County is in the new District 1, which contains much of the current District 3, represented by U.S. Rep Greg Murphy, a Greenville Republican.

Filing for the election begins at noon on Monday and ends at noon on Dec. 17. Offices on the ballot across the state will include U.S. Senate, N.C. Supreme Court and N.C. Court of Appeals. In addition to local congressional seats and State Senate District 5, terms also are up for the following local offices:

  • N.C. House 8: currently held Kandie Smith.
  • N.C. House 9: currently held by Brian Farkas.
  • Pitt County Board of Commissioners Districts 1-6: currently held by Ann Floyd Huggins, District 1; Mary Perkins Williams, District 2; Christopher Nunnally, District 3; Alex Allbright, District 4; Mike Fitzpatrick, District 5; and Lauren White, District 6.
  • Clerk of Superior Court: currently held by Sarah Beth Fulford Rhodes.
  • Pitt County Board of Education Districts 1, 2, 5 and 7: currently held by Tracy Everette-Lenz, District 1; Amy Cole, District 2; Anna Barrett Smith, District 5; Caroline Doherty, District 7. The school board seats are nonpartisan and will not appear on the ballot until November.

Other seats up for election include one Superior Court and two District Court judge seats and the office Pitt County Sheriff, currently held by Paula Dance.

District Attorney Faris Dixon also is up for re-election. The Democrat released the following statement:

“I am excited to formally announce my candidacy for re-election as the District Attorney. During this term, the Pitt County District Attorney’s office has worked diligently to ensure the safety of our community. We have collaborated with various agencies for the betterment of our county and to bring innovative opportunities to our community. I am asking for your support as we continue to build a better Pitt County.”

Municipal elections in Greenville and several other cities also will be held on March 8. The elections were postponed from last November because the pandemic caused delays in the U.S. Census results needed to redraw election districts.

Filing for the Greenville City Council election begins at noon on Jan. 3 and runs through Jan. 7. All the council seats and the mayor’s post will be up for election. The races are nonpartisan.

Contact Bobby Burns at baburns@reflector.com and 329.9572.