Campaign season 2013 opens

Jul. 06, 2013 @ 03:38 PM

Friday afternoon opened the local 2013 campaign season.

Filing for municipal elections began with a rush of incumbents and newcomers filing paperwork to official run for office. The number was about what staff expected, Union County Board of Elections Director John Whitley said.

“We’ve had a few,” Whitley said. “It’s pretty good for a holiday weekend.”

Monroe Mayor Bobby Kilgore filed to run for a fifth term as soon as filing opened.

“I always come the first day to let the people see that I love my job and I want to continue serving the community,” Kilgore said. “I don’t

See Campaign/Page A9

see the point in waiting ten days before coming up here.”

New city projects are what made him try for another term. He wants to see the progress of Monroe Union County Economic Development, new city fire stations, development of the Scott property, a new custom’s department at the Monroe Charlotte Executive Airport and a list of others, Kilgore said.

“I think the city’s moving forward and I’d like to be there to see them completed,” he said.

Former candidate Surluta Anthony also filed for one of the three open Monroe council seats.

“I’m here because I’m really committed to serving my community,” Anthony said. “I’d given a lot of thought to running, and I realize I have a lot to give back to Monroe.”

Though she has had the opportunity to live in other places, Anthony chose to say in Monroe where she raised her family. It is a great place to live, she said, but there are few things in the world that are perfect.

“I want to do something to make Monroe a better place,” she said.

Incumbent Wesley Chapel Mayor Brad Horvath also filed on the first day.

“I started this five years ago to try to bring together the community and give our town an identity,” Horvath said.

Like Monroe, Wesley Chapel plans major projects Horvath wants to see through. The walls of the new town hall are going up and plans for a town park are moving forward.

Until the filing period closes at noon on July 19, candidates will file documents to run for 42 offices up for election in the county’s 14 municipalities. All seats are non-partisan, meaning there will be no primaries to determine which Republican and Democrat will face each other in the general election. Voters will choose from a pool of candidates. The candidates with the greatest number of votes are elected to the position.

Among those are seats held by controversial incumbents. In Monroe, council members Margaret Desio, Freddie Gordon and John Ashcraft are up for reelection. The three, with the addition of Lynn Keziah, form a majority voting bloc against fellow members Dottie Nash and Billy Jordan. The two groups squared off this year over the departure of former city manager Wayne Herron, hiring of his replacement and the Monroe Police Department.

In Indian Trail, the terms of incumbent council members Robert Allen and Darlene Luther expire. Both drew criticism for their personal and political lives. The most recent high-profile controversy focused on a Luther-Allen led push for starting a town police department instead of renewing a service contract with the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

Allen stated he will not seek reelection.

Anyone interested in running for office must first file with the board of elections. People are eligible to run for offices within the town they live and not other towns or cities. Those filing under a nickname must also file a nickname affidavit form. Former felons who have their rights restored must also file a felony disclosure form.

Those filing must pay a filing fee of $5.

Most municipalities hold elections during the general election on Nov. 5. Monroe holds separate elections held earlier, this year on Oct. 8.

All candidates are required to form a campaign finance committee. Candidates must name campaign treasurers, who then must undergo N.C. Board of Elections training in person or via the internet. Elections staff will work with returning candidates to find if they have an old committee that is either open or closed.

Candidates planning to raise or spend more than $1,000 during their campaign must file paperwork with the board of elections. Campaigns raising more than the $1,000 threshold will be required to file quarterly financial reports.

Each municipality has its own campaign sign ordinances, so candidates should research what kind of signs are allowed and where they can be placed in their town.

For more information, visit www.co.union.nc.us/Government/BoardofElections, call the Union County Board of Elections at 283-3809 or visit its office at 316-B Windsor Street in Monroe.

The following are other candidates who filed for election with the Union County Board of Elections Friday:

For Fairview council, Bill F. Thomas of 9404 Mill Grove Road in Indian Trail and Bradley Purser of 210 W. Old Dutch Road in Indian Trail. For Hemby Bridge Alderman, Rodney Mullis of 7212 Secrest Short Cut Road in Indian Trail and Donald Kevin Pressley of 7125 Secreast Short Cut Road in Indian Trail. For mayor of Lake Park, Thomas Kendall Spence III of 4011 Lake Charles Way in Indian Trail. For mayor of Mineral Springs, Frederick (Rick) Becker III of 6603 Sadler Road in Waxhaw.