NORTH CAROLINA – It’s election 2014 filing season for North Carolina political candidates, and here are some of the official contenders in national, state and Orange County races so far:

In the U.S. Senate race, three Republican candidates have filed to replace Democratic Senator Kay Hagan.

They are: Mark Harris, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte.

Harris is a founding member of Vote For Marriage NC, which pushed for the successful passage of the North Carolina Marriage Protection Amendment in 2012. The amendment banned gay marriage in the state.

Another Republican contender filing to run for U.S. Senate, 38-year-old Heather Grant, is a nurse practitioner from Wilkesboro.

The third Republican to make if official so far is former Shelby Mayor Ted Alexander.

Republican U.S. House Representative Howard Coble is retiring this year, and Republican Representative Phil Berger Jr. of the NC House has announced his intention to replace Coble, although he hasn’t filed yet.

The seat has been held by Coble for 29 years.

On the Democratic side, challenger Laura Fjeld of Hillsborough has served five years as vice president and general counsel for the UNC System.

Another Democrat to file for the race is Guilford County Commissioner Bruce Davis.

In the District 23 race for North Carolina State Senate, Valerie Foushee has filed to maintain the seat formerly held by Ellie Kinnaird, who retired last year.

Foushee, a former District 50 Representative in the NC House, was appointed to replace Kinnaird.

Foushee’s appointed House replacement, Chapel Hill-Carrboro school administrator Graig Meyer, will defend his seat against one Republican challenger so far.

That’s Lewis Hannah, a retired bank executive from Efland.

Democrat Verla Insko of Chapel Hill has filed to keep the District 56 seat she’s held in the NC House since 1997.

Jim Woodall, a Democrat, is running for re-election as District Attorney for Orange and Chatham Counties.

Carl Fox and Allen Baddour Jr. have both filed to keep their jobs as Superior Court Judges for that same district.

Commissioner Barry Jacobs, a Democrat, is making his bid to hold his At-Large seat. He’ll officially be fending off Democratic challenger Bonnie Hauser.

Democrat Mia Burroughs, Vice Chair of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education, is running for retiring Commissioner Alice Gordon’s seat.

Green builder Mark Marcoplos of Chapel Hill is running against fellow Democrat and incumbent Earl McKee for the District 2 Commissioner seat.

Orange School Board Chair Donna D. Coffey and fellow member Brenda Stephens have both signed the papers for another term.

Carrboro Planning Board chair Bethany Chaney will run in a special May 6 election to fill the Board of Aldermen seat left vacant by the election of mayor Lydia Lavelle.

Theresa Watson has also filed in that race.

And Democrats Larry D. Faucette, Buddy Parker, Andy Cagle, Keith Webster and David Caldwell Jr. have all filed to run for Orange County Sheriff.