Who is running for Chatham County commissioner?

By Raymond Gastwaite

Pittsboro, NC – We should all know by now that two Chatham county commissioner seats are on the ballot this fall. I was curious about what public information each of the candidates has provided about their positions on the issues. We should all watch for evolving positions over the next four months.

Seeking District 1 Commissioner

Karen Howard and Hillary CLinton

Karen Howard Facebook photo.

Karen Howard is the incumbent Democrat. Howard lives in northern Chatham County with a Chapel Hill mailing address, and is a former attorney. She ran unopposed in 2014 to fill a position vacated by Sally Kost and is now running in an opposed election.

Ms Howard has published almost no information about her positions on Chatham County. She has a Facebook page. I cannot find a reelection website for her.

Emmett (Jay) Stobbs is the Republican challenging Karen Howard. Stobbs lives in northeast Chatham County with a Durham mailing address. He is a West Point graduate and a retired Army officer and was a manager at Northrop Grumman. Stobbs has information on his Facebook page and he has a website at www.jay4chatham.com.

Jay Stobbs at Pittsboro VFW

Jay Stobbs speaking at the Pittsboro VFW. (Facebook photo)

Seeking District 2 Commissioner

The incumbent commissioner for District 2 is Mike Cross. Cross was defeated by Mike Dasher in the Democrat primary. Cross lost the support of the Chatham Democrat Party leadership after voting against county-wide zoning which is supported by the other Democrat commissioners (Howard, Hales, and Crawford). Read about that at chathamforward.com.

Mike Dasher is the Democrat seeking the District 2 Commissioner position. He has degrees in political science and finance, and runs a business developing residential properties. Dasher  lives in Moncure. He has a Facebook page is and he has a website at mikedasher.org.

Karen Howard & Mike Dasher

Karen Howard & Mike Dasher (Campaign photo)

Peyton Holland is running as an Independent (placed on the ballot by petition of county voters after the Primaries). In the past Holland has voted as a Republican. Holland lives in Moncure and has a graduate degree in management from NC State. He works as the Executive Director of SkillsUSA North Carolina. He has a Facebook page and his website is ourchathamnc.com.

Personal opinion

I chuckled when I saw a post on Dashers Facebook page stating that Howard and Dasher encourage citizen participation in a government that is thoughtful, deliberative, and transparent. I have not seen those qualities displayed yet by Commissioner Howard in the discussions about county-wide zoning.

Also interesting is that Mike Dasher runs a business developing residential properties. Will that be a conflict of interest for him during zoning discussions around residential development?

Anyway, (with the exception of Karen Howard who has seems to no published political position) check out the political promises on each candidates Facebook page and website, and watch how those pledges evolve until the election. Remember to vote in November, and after the election try to hold your representatives to the commitments they make.

For more information and to see the documents I reference visit my blog at https://countrylivingpolitics.blogspot.com/