Not many potential candidates show up at the Guilford County Board of Elections three minutes before filing closes, not to file, but former Greensboro City Councilmember Tony Wilkins did.
Wilkins had been recruited by the bigwigs in the North Carolina Republican Party to run for NC District 27 Senate seat currently held by Democrat state Sen. Michael Garrett, who won the seat by defeating Trudy Wade in 2018. At the time, Wade was an incumbent running for her fourth term in a district that had been redrawn after the 2016 election by a “special master” selected by the courts.
State Senate District 27 was redrawn again for the 2020 election and is a more Democratic district than it was in 2018.
Republican Sebastian King filed to run and Wilkins decided not to file.
After District 6 Republican Guilford County Commissioner Hank Henning announced he would not be running for reelection, Wilkins was once again asked to run and took a long hard look at the District 6 Board of Commissioners race.
One problem Wilkins foresaw in running in District 6 is that, although it includes part of Greensboro, over 50 percent of the voters in that district live in High Point and District 6 is perceived as a High Point seat. Two former High Point city councilmembers, Jason Ewing and Rick Davis, have filed to run in the Republican primary.
When Wilkins walked in the door of the Board of Elections at 11:57 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 20, he announced, “I’m here to not file.”
Wilkins said, “I consider Jason Ewing and Jim Davis friends and I think either one will make a good commissioner. I’m comfortable that the seat will stay in Republican hands and they can continue the positive progress of the county commissioners.”
Wilkins added, “I’m a little surprised that the Democrats didn’t put up a serious challenger in District 6. You can’t really consider [James] Upchurch as a serious contender.”
Wilkins said, “I feel at peace with my decision.”