Extended excerpts of our Q&A with Orange County Commissioner District 2 Democratic candidate Renee Price.
Early filings for political races show contests shaping up for the Orange County Board of Commissioners.
Four of the county board’s seven seats are up this fall. There are two seats available in District 1, representing more populous Chapel Hill-Carrboro; one seat in District 2, representing Hillsborough and the county’s rural areas, and one at large-seat available.
The filing period ends at noon Feb. 29. Here is a rundown of those who have filed so far.
In District 1, incumbent Pam Hemminger and Penny Rich, both Democrats, have filed. Hemminger, the board’s current vice chairwoman, is seeking her second term. She previously served on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board, where she was appointed and then elected in 2004. Rich is a current member of the Chapel Hill Town Council, midway through her first term after being elected in November of 2009. She is a small business owner of a personal chef-catering service, writes a food blog and teaches classes on healthy menu planning. Current Commissioner Valerie Foushee is not seeking re-election so that she can run for State House District 50.
In District 2, incumbent Steve Yuhasz will face a primary challenge from at least fellow Democrat Renee Price. Yuhasz is seeking his second term and served as the board’s vice chairman last year. Price narrowly lost to current Commissioner Earl McKee in the 2010 Democratic primary. The winner of the May primary will face a Republican in November. So far, one Republican, Chris Weaver has filed.
In the at large race, current board Chairwoman Bernadette Pelissier is seeking her second term. Republican Mary Carter has also filed for the seat.
The commissioners’ primary duties are adopting an annual budget, setting the property tax rate, appointing various officials and representatives to advisory boards, planning for county needs and enacting local ordinances. The board also has the authority to call bond referendums, such as the half-cent sales tax referendum for mass transit the county expects to put on the ballot in November.
There are no municipal races on the ballot this fall.