Candidates for State Offices in the March 3 Primary

The following list of candidates for state offices appearing on the Buncombe County ballot was taken from the filing list on the NC Board of Elections website.

Remember that in North Carolina primaries, registered voters are allowed to choose the party ballot they so designate; they are not restricted to their party of registration. Be aware that the ballot you choose will only allow you to pick candidates from that ballot’s party.

Here are the candidates, listed by party affiliation.

US Senate: Incumbent Thom Tillis (R) will face Republican challengers Larry Holmquist, Sharon Y. Hudson, and Paul Wright. The Democratic candidates are Cal Cunningham, Trevor M. Fuller, Atul Goel, Erica D. Smith, and Steve Swenson. There is a Libertarian candidate, Shannon W. Bray; and a Constitution Party candidate, Kevin E. Hayes.

US House: There are 13 US House district races. A complete list is available at the State Board of Elections website,, but Asheville and Buncombe County will be in the newly established District 11, where Democratic candidates are Steve Woodsmall, Gina Collias, Moe Davis, Michael O’Shea, and Phillip G. Price. Republican primary candidates are Lynda Bennett, Jim Davis, Chuck Archerd, Dan Driscoll, Joey Osborne, Steven Fekete, Jr., Dillon S. Gentry, Wayne King, Madison Cawthorn, Matthew Burril, Vance Patterson, and Albert Wiley, Jr. Running on the Green ticket is Tamara Zwinak, and on the Libertarian ticket, Tracey DeBruhl.

NC Governor: Democratic candidates are Roy Cooper (incumbent) and Ernest T. Reeves; Republican candidates are Holly Grange and Dan Forest. Constitution Party candidate is Al Pisano, and the Libertarian candidate is Steven J. DiFiore.

NC Lieutenant Governor: This one’s popular! There are six Democrats and nine Republicans running for this mostly titular office. The Democrats are Bill Toole, Terry Van Duyn, Yvonne Lewis Holley, Chaz Beasley, Allen Thomas, and Ron Newton. Republicans are Mark Robinson, Deborah Cochran, Andy Wells, Greg Gebhardt, Renee Ellmers, Scott Stone, Buddy Bengel, John L. Ritter, and Mark Johnson.

NC Attorney General: Incumbent Josh Stein is the only Democrat running; Republican opponents are Jim O’Neill, Sam Hayes, and Christine Mumma.

NC Auditor: Two apiece – Democrats Beth A. Wood, incumbent, and Luis A. Toledo; and Republicans Anthony Wayne Street and Tim Hoegemeyer.

NC Commissioner of Agriculture: Democrats are Donovan Alexander Watson, Jenna Wadsworth, and Walter Smith. The single Republican is incumbent Steve Troxler.

NC Commissioner of Insurance: Former insurance commissioner Wayne Goodwin is the sole Democrat; current commissioner Mike Causey is running against Ronald Pierce in the primary.

NC Commissioner of Labor: Cherie Berry (R), the current commissioner whose name you will recognize if you ever ride an elevator (check the Certificate of Operation), is not running for a sixth term, so there are new candidates to consider. One is a Democrat, Jessica Holmes; and three are Republicans: Pearl Burris Floyd, Josh Dobson, and Chuck Stanley.

NC Secretary of State: Incumbent Elaine Marshall is the sole Democrat; Republicans vying for nomination are Chad Brown, E.C. Sykes, and Michael LaPaglia.

NC Superintendent of Public Instruction: Democratic candidates are James Barrett, Constance (Lav) Johnson, Jen Mangrum, Michael Maher and Keith A. Sutton. Republican candidates are Craig Horn and Catherine Truitt.

NC Treasurer: Three Democrats are in the primary – Matt Leatherman, Ronnie Chatterji, and Dimple Ajmera. Current treasurer Dale Folwell is running as the single Republican candidate.

NC State Judiciary: Elections will be held in 2020 for various seats on the Supreme Court and NC Court of Appeals, and each seat has only one Democrat and one Republican in each contest. Here is the list:

It should be noted that according to the Carolina Journal, Republican appellate judge candidates chose to run as a team.

NC State Senate District 48: Democratic candidates are Brian Caskey, Najah Underwood, and Cristal Figueroa; the Republican primary candidate is incumbent Chuck Edwards.

NC Senate District 49: Democratic candidates are Julie Mayfield, Travis Smith, and Ben Scales; Republican candidate, Bob Penland.

NC House of Representatives, District 114: Democratic incumbent Susan Fisher; Republican Tim Hyatt; and Libertarian Lyndon John Smith.

NC House of Representatives, District 115: Democratic incumbent John Ager; Republican Mark Crawford.

NC House of Representatives, District 116: Democratic incumbent Brian Turner; Republican Eric Burns.

NC District Court Judge, District 28, Seat 06: Andrea Dray, (D)

NC District Court Judge, District 28, Seat 07: Calvin Hill (D)

For additional information concerning the 2020 Primary ballot, you may contact the Buncombe County Election Services office at 828-250-4200. Election Services is located at 77 McDowell Street in downtown Asheville, and hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Early voting takes place February 13-29, 2020, with locations and schedules listed on the website. (If you are not registered to vote, you may register at an early voting site.) Absentee ballot request forms are available by phone request or may be downloaded from Buncombe County Election Services.

For candidate information, you may also visit the (nonpartisan) League of Women Voters’ website: It provides general information by state, and candidate/ballot information according to your own location.