The reason people describe running for office as “tossing your hat in the ring” is because of the sport of boxing.

Way back when, if a man wanted to fight an opponent, he’d throw his hat into the boxing ring, which let the referee and everyone else present know that he wanted in on a fight.

That was a relatively simple process but, these days, in mid-2023, there is a more complicated process for entering a political race in Guilford County and in North Carolina.

If anyone hasn’t filed to run in the 2023 municipal elections in Guilford County and wants to, he or she better get their act together soon and be sure do things exactly right.  Unlike some “deadlines” that are loose, Guilford County’s Elections Director Charlie Collicutt has a very firm deadline for candidates wishing to run in the next election – noon on Friday, July 21.

The 2023 Municipal Election Cycle includes the following municipalities and districts: Burlington, High Point, Gibsonville, Jamestown, Kernersville, Oak Ridge, Pleasant Garden, Sedalia, Stokesdale, Summerfield, Whitsett and Sedgefield Sanitary District.

Notably absent is Greensboro.

Collicutt has told the Rhino Times often over the years that his office, at filing time, sees something of a barbell pattern. Usually a lot of contenders file at the beginning of the filing period followed by something of a steady flow in the middle, with a burst at the end.

Some candidates want to make a dramatic statement by filing on the last day – but that can backfire.  There’s paperwork to be filed and checked, filing fees that have to be paid and then there’s the fact that sometimes potential candidates don’t realize that they must file by noon on the final day – not 5 p.m.

Also, cars break down and other last-minute problems arise.

This year, notices of candidacy have to be in at a Guilford County Board of Elections Office – either the Greensboro or High Point office – or notarized and received (not postmarked) in the office by noon on Friday, July 21.

Also this year, there’s another reason to be very careful when filing just before the noon deadline.  In Greensboro and High Point, around the election offices, there are construction and renovation projects going on. Especially in downtown Greensboro, mid-morning on a weekday – parking can be extremely difficult considering all of the blocked off parking.