Multiple candidates filed for local public office on Tuesday and Wednesday as the deadline for declaring candidacy in the 2022 election draws near.
The Lee County Board of Education will see a GOP primary, set for May 17, as former Lee County High School Principal and Central Office Administrator Kenna Wilson filed as a Republican on Tuesday, joining Republicans Eric Davidson, Chris Gaster and Alan Rummel. Three seats are up on the school board, including those held by Republican Pam Sutton, Democrat Pat McCracken and Democrat Christine Hilliard. Hilliard also filed on Wednesday, and McCracken and Democratic challenger Walter Ferguson filed for re-election in December. Incumbent Republican Sutton had not filed for re-election as of Wednesday night.
The race for sheriff of Lee County will be contested in both the general election and the Republican primary, as Tim Smith filed to face incumbent interim Sheriff Brian Estes on Monday, and Democrat Carlton Lyles filed on Wednesday. Lyles had announced his plans to run nearly a year ago.
Meanwhile, in the Sanford city election set for July, Republican Richard Porter filed Tuesday for the at large seat being vacated by Democrat Chas Post. Porter will face Democrat Linda Rhodes, who filed in December, in the general election. Democrat Mark Akinosho, a former member and chairman of the Lee County Board of Education, filed on Tuesday for the Ward 1 seat being vacated by Democrat Sam Gaskins, who filed to run for Sanford Mayor on Tuesday. Gaskins will face Democrat Rebecca Wyhof Salmon, who currently represents Ward 5 on the council and also filed Tuesday, in the May primary. No Republican has yet filed for the office. Democrat J.D. Williams, who represents Ward 3, also filed on Tuesday. He has not yet drawn a Republican opponent.
On the Lee County Board of Commissioners, District 4 Republican incumbent Arianna Lavallee has yet to file for re-election. Democrat Larry “Doc” Oldham, who held the seat from 2014 to 2018 and an at large seat on the board from 2008 to 2012 has filed for the seat. District 3 Republican incumbent Dr. Andre Knecht filed for re-election earlier this week and will face Democratic challenger Chuck Baker, while District 2 Republican incumbent Kirk Smith will face Democratic challenger John Kirkman. District 1 Democratic incumbent Robert Reives Sr. is running for re-election and has not yet drawn a Republican opponent.
Filing for public office in the 2022 election ends at noon on Friday.