The deadline is noon today.
Ussery joins Commissioners Paul Wilson Jr., Jimmy Maske, Pam Dillman and six challengers in the race.
The challengers include many who have sought or held office on the county commission in the past, including H.L. Webb, Larry Rogers, Don Bryant, Tony Martin, Ben Moss and Jimmy Capps.
Of the 10 candidates, Moss is the only Republican, and the Democratic primary in May will eliminate five of the nine Democrats vying for county commissioner.
Ussery made his case for reelection to a fifth consecutive term in a prepared statement. He has chaired the body previously.
“I have been able to see a lot of positive things happen in Richmond County over the last 15 years as I served as county commissioner,” Ussery said. “One of the biggest positive changes has been our tax base, (which has grown from) $1.1 billion in 1996 to $2.5 billion in 2009. Most of this has been in new business growth and existing business expansion.”
He pointed to the new Progress Energy power plant and new transmission line, as well as recent announcements of business expansion, as examples of growth.
“This should add approximately three-quarters of a billion dollars to the existing tax base,” Ussery said of the Progress Energy plant. “Richmond County has been blessed, and is faring better than most rural counties in North Carolina, even though our country is experiencing a deep depression.”
He said he hopes to build on the county’s assets if reelected, including infrastructure, industrial parks, the relationship between the county and its municipalities, schools, Richmond Community College, the state Department of Commerce and the southeastern development team, “and certainly with our existing industries and businesses.”
“There are other issues our county is facing, and I would like to be a part of dealing with these issues in order to keep our tax rate down and make this a better place to live,” Ussery said.
Richmond County will have a hand in two 2010 elections with national implications, choosing one of the state’s two U.S. Senators and North Carolina’s Eighth District U.S. Representative.
The seats are held by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell.
Burr will face opposition in May’s primary election from a pair of Republicans, while four Democrats will compete to see who gets on the November ballot. A third party candidate is also waiting in the wings for the general election.
Hendersonville businessman Brad Jones and Asheboro businessman Eddie Burks, both Republicans, will face off with Burr in May.
Jones and Burks both claim to be more conservative than Burr, and say they oppose expansion of the federal government.
The four Democrats seeking to represent their party in November include former North Carolina Senator and U.S. Army Reserves Captain Cal Cunningham of Lexington, Durham attorney and Barack Obama 2008 campaign finance leader Kenneth Lewis, N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Lumberton public interest attorney Marcus Williams.
Libertarian senatorial candidate and Free Markets Internet-radio talk show host Dr. Michael Bietler has also filed to run against Burr in November.
In the campaign for North Carolina’s Eighth U.S. Congressional District, Charlotte retired sportscaster Harold Johnson became the fifth Republican to file for the May primary.
He is joined by Raeford veteran and businessman Tim D’Annunzio, retired U.S. Army Col. Lou Huddleston, Richmond County resident and The Umbrella Factory owner Darrell Day and Charlotte computer programmer and executive Hal Jordan.
On the other side of the equation, incumbent U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell will face primary opposition from fellow school teacher, writer and activist, Nancy Shakir.
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 32, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org