Article Published: Feb. 25, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

Sheriff's race expands
Another candidate is winging his way into the race for Watauga County sheriff.

William Doughton Byrd announced plans on Monday to run for the position of Watauga County sheriff, currently held by Sheriff Len Hagaman.

A native of Foscoe and resident of Boone, Byrd has worked in law enforcement for 18 years.

According to a campaign release, Byrd is a certified state instructor in various law-enforcement classes and has served as a team member and assistant leader of the joint Boone Police Department/Watauga County Sheriff's Office SWAT team.

Byrd said he will run unaffiliated and must gather 1,615 signatures on a petition by June 25 in order to qualify.

Other county races
The heated race for superior court clerk is holding steady at five candidates.

School board member Steve Combs, former assistant clerk Diane Deal and retiring Cove Creek School principal Tom Trexler will vie for the Democratic nomination, while current clerk Wanda Howell, who was named interim clerk following Glenn Hodges' retirement last year, will seek the Republican nomination along with current school board chairman Lowell Younce.

Four people will be seeking three seats on the Watauga County school board.

Donald Scott Courtney filed last week, just after incumbent Marsha Walpole and Charlie Wallin, assistant director of food services at Appalachian State.

John Welch, an employee with ASU athletics, filed this week. The quartet will be battling for the most votes in a race for three seats: the one currently occupied by Walpole, as well as those occupied by Lee Warren and Lowell Younce. Warren has not yet filed and Younce will not seek re-election since he is running for the clerk's seat.

The race for county board of commissioners remains stable with only one two-way race so far.
Incumbent Winston Kinsey, a Democrat, will face off with Republican Nathan Miller, a Boone attorney, in the District 5 race.

In District 2, Democrat Billy Ralph Winkler, the incumbent, remains unopposed while in District 4, Democrat Lowell Thomas is also running unopposed for the seat currently held by John Cooper, who has not planned to seek re-election.

The primary election will be held on May 4, followed by the general election on Nov. 2.
Voter registrations deadlines for the primary and general elections are April 9 and Oct. 8.
The filing period for candidates will close on Feb. 26.

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