ROCKINGHAM – Voters in Richmond County will have the opportunity to hear from the Republican candidates running for the Board of Commissioners this weekend.
State Rep. Ben Moss, R-Richmond, is hosting a meet-and-greet barbecue dinner at Rockingham VFW Post 4203 from 5-7 p.m. Saturday. The event is free and open to the public, especially veterans.
Moss, who was the first Republican elected to that council in more than 100 years, was also the first from the GOP to win a State House seat for the district.
“Veterans are the backbone of our community,” Moss said in a press release. “We have many strong Conservative candidates running for the Richmond County commission, and I want everyone to have the opportunity to meet their elected officials and those seeking to be elected. I also see this as an opportunity learn more about the issues affecting veterans in Richmond County, identifying ways to support them.
There are currently five Republicans on the board: Chairman Jeff Smart, Vice Chairman Justin Dawkins, Toni Maples, Andy Grooms and Dr. Rick Watkins.
Watkins changed party affiliation ahead of the recent filing period, which began in December but was delayed until last month due to legal disputes over district cards.
Dawkins, who was nominated to Moss’ seat in 2020, and Watkins are up for re-election and will face challengers Karen Everett, Thomas Davenport, Robin Roberts, Danny Pearson and Jason Gainey in the Republican primary on May 17.
Chief Electoral Officer Connie Kelly said it was the first time she remembered there had been a Republican primary in the race for county commissioners.
Seven Democrats will also face each other in a primary. The first four voters from each party will go to the polls in November.
If their signatures are turned in by the primary date, two unaffiliated candidates will also be on the ballot in this race: Joe Ward and Bryan Stanback. The Hamlet’s former councilor, Johnathan Buie, petitioned for the race, but dropped out.
Moss will also be in a primary race against Moore County Rep. Jamie Boles because the two incumbent state reps were layered during the redistricting process.