The ongoing filing period for candidates in this year’s municipal elections has already seen a whole host of office holders sign up to defend their positions.
But as these campaign-ready incumbents continue to throw their proverbial hats into the ring, a few long-serving officials have also taken the opportunity to hang up their metaphorical headwear for good.
The latest of these expectant retirees is Elon’s mayor pro tem Mark Greene, who announced his intention to forgo re-election during a regularly-scheduled town council meeting on Tuesday.
“I’ve been on the council for 16 years,” Greene told his colleagues that evening. “We don’t have any term limits. So, I just term limited myself.”
In addition to Greene’s current seat on the council, voters in Elon are also slated to consider two other positions, which presently belong to incumbent town councilmen Monti Allision and Quinn Ray.
Allision was among the first to register his candidacy when the local elections office kicked off the filing period on Friday.
Ray hadn’t attended to this formality as of Tuesday, although he has assured The Alamance News that he, too, will run for re-election this fall; he filed for re-election on Wednesday.
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Meanwhile, local mayors were among the first to line up to file for re-election at the Alamance County Board of Elections on Friday (the first day of filing season) and Monday.
Municipal election filing season began at noon on Friday and will continue through noon on July 21.
As previously expressed to The Alamance News last week, Burlington mayor Jim Butler and Haw River mayor Kelly Allen both filed for re-election to their respective mayoral posts.
Burlington’s mayoral term is for two years, Haw River’s is for four years.
Also filing for re-election were Graham mayor Jennifer Talley (where mayors serve a two-year term), Gibsonville mayor Lenny Williams (who has a four-year term), and Village of Alamance mayor Don Tichy (who has a two-year term).
On Monday, they were joined by incumbent mayor James “Ed” Hooks of Mebane, who is seeking a second, four-year term after previous service on the city council.
Burlington city council
In Burlington, incumbent city councilman Bob Ward, who had not indicated his intentions on re-election, filed for his third term on the city council. The other incumbent council member, Kathy Hykes, told The Alamance News last week that she will not seek re-election.
Meanwhile, former city council member Celo Faucette also filed for a seat on the council.
Planning board member Charlie Beasley, who had run for council in 2021 – placing sixth in an October primary that year among six candidates – has also filed for city council. As has Dejuana Bigelow, who was the fourth-place finisher for the two seats on the ballot in the 2021 council race; she has filed again for 2023.
Any additional candidates for city council in Burlington will trigger a primary election in October; Burlington is the only local jurisdiction that has the potential for primary elections – which occur anytime more than two candidates per available seat file.
Other incumbents filing for re-election were council members Ricky Hall in Graham and Drew Sharpe in Swepsonville.
In Haw River, Debbie Brown filed for seat on the Haw River town council. Brown had been among two applicants in 2020 for the seat vacated when then-council member Kelly Allen was elected mayor in 2019. The council deadlocked 2-2 on whether to appoint Brown on Kristin Smith to the seat. The council ultimately left the fifth seat vacant until it was filled in the 2021 election.
Meanwhile, more incumbent council members filed for re-election on Monday and Tuesday, and the Graham council race has drawn a newcomer, running for one of two open seats.
Katie Burkholder, who was appointed to the Mebane city council in 2022 after long-time council member Patty Philipps moved out of town has filed to keep her seat on the council.
Also in Mebane, councilman Sean Ewing, first elected in 2019, filed for re-election to a council seat.
Likewise, in Graham, Bonnie Whitaker, who was appointed to the Graham city council in 2022 to fill the remaining term of then-council member Jennifer Talley, who was elected mayor in 2021, filed on Tuesday for a full, four-year term on the council.
A challenger has also come forth in Graham. Ryan Kluk has filed for a council seat. Kluk, who has lived in Graham for a year and a half and works with the North Carolina Realtors Association in Raleigh, lives across the city’s regional park, off Jim Minor Road. In a brief phone interview with The Alamance News Kluk said that “Graham has a lot of potential.”
In Ossipee, incumbent councilmen Ernest “Smokey” Bare and Edward Gallagher have filed for re-election to the town council.
In Gibsonville, long-time alderman Mark Shepherd, who serves as the mayor pro tem, has filed for re-election.
In Elon, incumbent council members Allison and Ray have been joined on the ballot by unsuccessful 2021 mayoral candidate Michael Woods.
The filing period continues through noon on Friday, July 21.