Three incumbents and one challenger filed as candidates for municipal seats at the Wilkes County Board of Elections Friday after the filing period began at noon. Candidate filing ends at noon July 19.
Voters will elect three North Wilkesboro commissioners, two Wilkesboro councilmen and Wilkesboro mayor this year. Election Day in the two town races is Nov. 5. The elections are non-partisan so there are no primaries.
Under legislation signed into law last month, Ronda elections will now be held in even-numbered years starting in November 2020.
In Wilkesboro races, incumbent Michael “Mike” Vestal Inscore of Skyland Drive filed for mayor and incumbent Jimmy Calvin Hayes of Laurel Road filed for councilman. Both are seeking their fourth four-year terms.
Claude Andrew “Andy” Soots of College Street also filed for a Wilkesboro council seat. Soots was elected to his first term as a Wilkesboro councilman in 2013 and was narrowly defeated in 2017, after calling for a recount. Before 2013, he ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the council four times.
In North Wilkesboro races, John Elbert “Bert” Hall Jr. of Finley Avenue filed for another four-year term. Hall has been a North Wilkesboro commissioner since he was elected in 2001.
Wilkesboro Councilman Gary Johnson and North Wilkesboro commissioners Junior Goforth and Joe Johnston are also up for re-election to four-year terms.
Johnson is up for his second consecutive four-year term, but he also was a Wilkesboro councilman from 2007-2013.
Goforth is in his first four-year term as a North Wilkesboro commissioner.
Johnston was appointed to fill an unexpired North Wilkesboro commissioner term in December 2012 to replace Jeffrey Elmore when Elmore was elected to the N.C. House. Johnston was elected to a special two-year term in 2013 and a four-year term in 2015.
Filing fees are $10 for North Wilkesboro commissioner, $50 for Wilkesboro councilman and $84 for Wilkesboro mayor. To file for municipal office, a person must be a registered voter in Wilkes County, a resident of the municipality in which the person is filing and at least 21 years old.
Upcoming important municipal election dates include:
• July 16, 5 p.m., deadline for a candidate to withdraw a notice of candidacy;
• July19, 5 p.m., deadline to file as a candidate in the 2019 municipal elections;
• Oct. 4, absentee voting by mail begins;
• Oct. 11, 5 p.m., deadline for voter registration for 2019 municipal elections;
• Oct. 16, 8:30 a.m., start of one-stop early voting, when people can both register and vote, for municipal elections;
• Oct. 29, 5 p.m., deadline to request a ballot for absentee voting by mail;
• Nov. 1, 5 p.m., one-stop early voting ends;
• Nov. 5, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Election Day for municipal elections.
More details about filing for office and other election matters are available at www.wilkescounty.net or by calling the Wilkes County Board of Elections at 336-651-7339.