Five people filed Thursday to run for three North Wilkesboro commissioner seats on the ballot this year.
They are Chad Keith George, 42, of Pine Street; Thomas Gray “Tiger” Posey, 41, of F Street; Michael Perry Parsons, 59, of Coffey Street; Otis Wayne Church, 71, of Finley Avenue; and Andrew Steven Palmer, 35, of Coffey Avenue.
Church, Parsons, Posey, George and Palmer join incumbent commissioner John Elbert “Bert” Hall Jr., 62, of Finley Avenue. Hall filed on the first day of the filing period, which was July 5.
Wilkes Board of Elections Director Kim Caudill said Wednesday that a phone conference meeting of the Wilkes Board of Elections was scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday to consider extending the period for filing to run for North Wilkesboro commissioner since only Hall had filed by then. After five people filed Thursday, Caudill said the board would still meet but that under state law it couldn’t extend the filing period since the number of candidates now exceeded the number of seats on the ballot.
Parsons was an unsuccessful candidate for North Wilkesboro commissioner in 2017, but George, Church and Posey have never run for elected office.
George is a self-employed truck driver; Parsons owns and operates Michael's Jewelry in downtown North Wilkesboro; Posey is a program facilitator with Communities In Schools; Church owns and operates A Baby Celebration (baby clothing and gifts store) on Main Street, North Wilkesboro; and Palmer is a musician, owned Peace Regime boxing and fitness club and is working at his family's business, City Florist.
Hall, owner and operator of Wilkes Steel Inc., has been a North Wilkesboro commissioner since 2001.
The deadline for filing for municipal elections in Wilkes and statewide was noon Friday. This article doesn’t include people, if any, who filed Friday. Check the Wilkes Journal-Patriot website at www.journalpatriot.com for any filings on Friday.
Goforth not running
Also on Thursday, Junior Goforth said in an interview that he wouldn't seek re-election as a North Wilkesboro commissioner this year. Joe Johnston, the third North Wilkesboro commissioner up for re-election, said earlier that he wouldn’t file for re-election.
Goforth earlier said he was undecided about running again. "I held up deciding because I was waiting for confirmation from three or four people" about whether they would file as candidates for the three seats, he said. Goforth declined to identify those people, but said they told him they would file Thursday or Friday.
Goforth said he was proud of the board’s accomplishments in his four years as a commissioner, including securing Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s 30-year lease of the town-owned hospital and resolving the issue of a new water source by agreeing to build an intake on the Yadkin River. Goforth said his recent purchase of a Hallmark store in Winston-Salem that he earlier owned and sold influenced his decision to not seek reelection. He also is co-owner of Hallmark/Quick Frame on Main Street, North Wilkesboro.
Four people had filed for two Wilkesboro councilman seats and one for mayor on the ballot by 5 p.m. Thursday.
The councilman candidates by then were incumbent James Gary Johnson, 66, of Spring Valley Road; incumbent Jimmy Calvin Hayes, 72, of Laurel Road; Claude Andrew “Andy” Soots, 68, of College Street and Gregory Alan “Greg” Minton, 56, of Skyland Drive. Johnson and Minton filed Monday and Soots, Hayes and Inscore filed July 5.
The only candidate for Wilkesboro mayor by 5 p.m. Thursday was incumbent Michael Vestal “Mike” Inscore, 69, of Skyland Drive.
Johnson is self-employed in trucking; Soots is self-employed in landscaping; Hayes is self-employed; Minton is dean of public safety at Wilkes Community College; and Inscore is retired from Lowe’s Companies Inc.
All of the elected positions in the two towns have four-year terms. There are no party primaries because the races are non-partisan.