What’s up for election: One seat in the Highlands district and two seats in the Franklin district.
About the race: There are three commissioner seats up for election in Macon County: one seat for the district representing the Highlands area and two seats for the district representing the Franklin area. All three incumbents are running.
Do I vote in all the districts, or just mine? Every voter in Macon County gets to vote for every commissioner seat, no matter where you live in the county. While the county is parceled up into three territories for the commissioners race, the geographic districts only apply to the candidates. Candidates must live in the district of the seat they are running for, but that’s the only import of the districts.
Macon commissioner: Highlands district, one seat
•Jim Tate is seeking reelection because he wants to “ensure that Macon County will continue to be a great place to live and call home through low taxes, great schools, safe communities and efficient services.” He is president of Tate Landscaping Services, and has served on numerous Highlands town boards.
•John Shearl is a business owner — J&J Lawn and Landscaping Services and Shearl Produce — and former Highlands volunteer firefighter. Currently serving on the Macon County Planning Board, the candidate is seeking a the Highlands commissioner seat with an eye on “lower taxes, limited government and less regulation.”
•Michael David Rogers owns a landscaping business. If elected, he plans to focus on attracting business to the area, as well as environmental issues. “I love the mountains and the water and I just don’t like seeing it be trashed out and destroyed.”
Macon commissioner: Franklin district, two seats
•Ron Haven, a motel and inn owner and sitting commissioner, said he intends to “keep taxes low” and work to improve the community for future generations. “I’ve got an interest in watching my children grow up and have opportunities in life.”
•Gary Shields, a retired educator and Vietnam veteran, said he feels a sense of “civic responsibility” to his home. “I care, I care about Macon County. If you’ve got the time, the energy and the want-to, you need to be involved.”
• Ronnie Beale is a two-term commissioner who previously served as chairman, and is a leader in the NC Association of County Commissioners. He is president of a construction company and previously served on the planning board.
• John Martin is a “semi-retired entrepreneur” who has worked in the insurance and real estate fields. He wants to “facilitate a better tomorrow” through “long-term sustainable growth.” He intends to work to “keep taxes low” and ensure Macon County is “business friendly.”
“Good jobs in Macon County are getting tougher for people to find today and citizens deserve better.”
About the race: Since there are only two candidates — both Republicans — whoever wins the primary will be the ultimate winner, since there would be no Democratic challengers to face come fall.
•Robbie Holland, 47, has served as Macon’s sheriff for the past 12 years. He intends to continue the stint.
“I want to continue serving my community and making a difference,” Holland said.
•Bryan Carpenter, Republican, 30, is a local business owner. He is running for office in an effort to “bring the hometown feeling back home.”