Seven candidates file on final day
by Kellen Short
Seven candidates filed Friday for
municipal seats, closing the filing window with competitive races in each town except Seven Devils.
"We were surprised that we had as many (candidates) as we did today, but we are thrilled," Board of Elections Director Jane Hodges said Friday. "We feel the voters always need a choice, and we feel they have some good choices."
In Boone, the race for mayor added two new names: Brad Harmon and John Mena.
Harmon, owner of Harmon's Dixie Pride, and Mena, a 2009 mayoral candidate who owns Haircut 101, joined in the race current Town Council member Andy Ball, who filed July 5. Harmon is a Republican, Mena is unaffiliated and Ball is a Democrat, according to N.C. Board of Elections records.
For Boone Town Council, Matthew Long, James Milner and Mark Templeton submitted their names Friday. They join in the race candidates Rennie Brantz, Quint David and Jennifer Pena, who filed earlier.
Brantz and Pena are both history professors, with Brantz at ASU and Pea at Wilkes Community College, while David works for IONCON (It's Only Natural) Engineering. The final three candidates to file come from similar backgrounds: Long is a co-founder of Capehart & Washburn General Contractors, Milner is a commercial real estate agent and Templeton manages Templeton Properties, a real estate development company.
Development in the Boone area continues to be an important issue as the town nears completion on an overhauled Unified Development Ordinance, a project in the works since October 2010. The council also enacted a controversial ordinance change this spring intended to boost the supply of affordable housing for the workforce.
Brantz is the only incumbent seeking to return to the board, which has three open seats.
Pena and Brantz are registered Democrats, Long is Republican, and David, Milner and Templeton are unaffiliated voters, according to the N.C. Board of Elections. All of the 2013 municipal races are nonpartisan, however.
The Blowing Rock mayoral contest will pit incumbent J.B. Lawrence against challenger Dan Phillips, who currently sits on the Blowing Rock Town Council.
If Phillips were successful in his race for mayor, his unfinished term would be filled by the council after the election.
For Town Council, six people will seek three seats: David Barker, Laurin Carter, Tommy Klutz Jr., Doug Matheson, Ray Pickett and Sue Sweeting.
Klutz and Matheson currently
serve on the board.
The top two vote-getters will serve four-year terms, and the third successful candidate will be granted a two-year term.
In Beech Mountain, the entry of Barry Schorr into the race Friday took the field to five candidates for three seats. The other candidates are Eddie Plante and incumbents Cindy Keller, Rick Miller and Paul Piquet.
The top two successful finishers will receive four-year terms, while the third successful candidate will receive a two-year term.
The mayor and vice mayor will be selected from within the council after the election.
In Seven Devils, the candidate slate remained unchanged after July 8. Incumbents Kay Ehlinger, David Ehmig and David Hooper are all seeking re-election.
The vote Nov. 5 will determine which two candidates earn four-year terms and which candidate is granted a two-year term.
A mayor and mayor pro tem will be selected from within the council after the election.
2013 MUNICIPAL CANDIDATES
Bradford (Brad) Harmon
Boone Town Council (3 seats available)
Frank (Quint) David
Matthew C. Long
Jennifer L. Pena
Blowing Rock Mayor
Blowing Rock Town Council (3 seats available)
Tommy Klutz Jr.
Beech Mountain Town Council
(3 seats available)
E. (Rick) Miller
Edward (Eddie) Plante
Seven Devils Town Council (3 seats available)