Forty candidates have filed for Nov. 7 municipal election

Published 4:00 pm Friday, July 21, 2023

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Tis the season to campaign. It’s time to don your best apparel supporting your favorite candidate, and it’s time to place their signs in your yard. The election season can really begin now that filing has ended. The last day to file for the municipal election was Friday (July 21). 

Proving Director of the Beaufort County Board of Elections, Kellie Hopkins right, 13 candidates chose to file on the first day and on the last two days. 

“It seems to be that there is a rush the first day and a rush the last day and then we have people that trickle in during the week. I’m sure there will be a handful that pop-up at the end,” Hopkins said in a previous Daily News Article.

As of Friday, July 21, 40 candidates have filed in their respective towns or city. 

The City of Washington has the most participation with two candidates running for mayor – incumbent, Mayor Donald Sadler and current city council member Bobby Roberson. On council, there are five open seats and vying for those seats are 12 candidates including current Mayor Pro-Tem Richard Brooks and Councilmembers William Pitt and Lou Hodges. The other candidates are; Antwan Horton, Gary A. Ceres, Mary Beedle, AJ Congleton, Andrew (Tex) Melton, Ellen Brabo, Anthony Tyre, Leesa Jones and Betsy Hester. 

In Washington Park, Mayor Tom Richter is running for re-election. There are five town commissioner seats that are open, but six candidates have filed, four of whom are running for re-election –   Wade Dale, Belinda Cowell, Jeff Peacock and Lee Bowen. Katie Creech and Vail Stewart Rumley filed for commissioner on Friday. 

In Chocowinity, Casey Langley, Nathaniel Williams, Jeff Haddock and Michael (Mike) Jones have filed for town commissioner where there are two open seats. 

Belhaven has three alderman seats open, two for the eastern side and one for the western. Stacey Conner and incumbents Nathan VanNortwick and Veronica P. Ward filed for alderman east seats. The Beaufort County Board of Elections notes that Shanika E. Ebron was appointed to an Alderman West seat. 

The Town of Bath currently has candidates for each of the available seats. All incumbents are running for re-election, Mayor Jimmy Latham and Commissioners John A. Taylor and William Keith Tankard. 

The Town of Aurora has two commissioner seats available. Incumbents Coley W. Jordan and Tina Taylor as well as Steve McCormack have filed. 

In the Town of Pantego, all incumbent commissioners Mart Benson, Chuck Williams, Reid Gelderman, Matthew VanNortwick and Chad Keech have filed for commissioner. Current mayor, Stuart E. Ricks, is running for re-election. There are five total commissioner seats open. 

If a situation should arise where there are not enough candidates for a race, the Beaufort County Board of Elections will extend the deadline for that particular race only which means the deadline to file for that race would be Friday, July 28. If after the extended deadline and still there are not enough candidates, the race will be decided by write-in candidates. This is because municipal elections in Beaufort County are nonpartisan. In nonpartisan contests, write-in candidates are eligible, Hopkins said.