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Wake Soil And Water Supervisor Race Has Numerous Candidates, Little Publicity

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WAKE COUNTY — Even the most informed voters may be unprepared for part of Tuesday's ballot. Most people probably know about the Republican and Democrat candidates in the big races, but will they know how to vote when they get to the race for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor?

"There will be seven names for two positions that are open this time," said Rick Bailey,Wake Soil and Water Conservation Districtadministrator.

Bailey works on a board with three elected members. Two positions will be decided Tuesday in a non-partisan race that Bailey says usually does not attract this much interest.

"I've never seen anything like this in terms of the number of candidates that have filed for the position," said Bailey.

The race features two incumbents and five contenders. The board's mission is to preserve open spaces to encourage wise land use and protect water resources from poor land use.

Bailey says most farmers depend on the board's help in meeting state and federal environmental regulations.

"And in this county, that's a dwindling community. Still somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of the county is farmed," said Bailey.

Many land developers may also be familiar with the race for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. Bailey says others need to read voter guides about the candidates published in local newspapers.

"All the candidates we have running this year, I think, have a genuine interest in natural resource conservation," Bailey explained.

Bailey says there is one thing about serving in this board room that should scare away the half-hearted.

"I know that a motivation is not any sort of a salary, because our board members get paid $25 for coming to meetings, so it basically covers their expenses," Bailey said.

There are 96 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the state. Even if you vote a straight ticket in Tuesday's election, that vote will not include the District Supervisor's race. It is non-partisan, so you have to vote for it separately.

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Rick Armstrong, Reporter
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