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Filing Ends for Candidates Running for Office in November’s Municipal Elections; 23 Candidates File to Run in Watauga County

By Nathan Ham

The window for candidates to run for office in this November’s election officially closed at noon today with 23 people running for office in Boone, Blowing Rock, Beech Mountain and Seven Devils. 

The most hotly contested seats will be in Boone where six people are running for one seat held by Virginia Roseman and three open seats on the town council. Four others are running to complete the unexpired term on the council left after the resignation of former councilperson Dustin Hicks. Nancy LaPlaca, Connie Ulmer and Sam Furgiuele are not seeking re-election. 

Roseman is the only incumbent seeking re-election to her seat that she holds after being appointed to replace Loretta Clawson. Clawson decided to retire earlier this year on January 31. Todd Carter, Jon Dalton George, Benjamin Ray, Adrian Tait and Eric Woolridge are also running for council seats.  

In the election to complete the unexpired term, Eric Brown, Christy M. Cook, Rebecca Nenow and Edie Tugman are all running for the open seat. 

Boone will have a new mayor this year that is running unopposed. Tim Futrelle, a former Watauga County Commissioner, is the only person running for the mayoral seat. Rennie Brantz chose not to seek re-election. Futrelle has been in Boone since 2000 and he graduated from Appalachian State in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Government and Justice Studies. Futrelle went to serve on the Watauga County Board of Commissioners from 2008 until 2012. He currently works for Verizon in Boone.

“I am very grateful and I’m honored. I’m going to do my best to try and serve people as best I can,” Futrelle said. “I’m sad to see that Rennie isn’t going to be running for re-election, but I think he did a very good job and he’s a very good man.”

Futrelle has been a Democrat for many years and has a few items at the top of his list to address once he is officially elected mayor.

“I have been going around and speaking to a lot of folks on a listening tour and meeting folks that work for the town as well as Chamber of Commerce members. What I’m hearing and what I hope to bring to the table is I hope to be that voice for what people want to see achieved with the town,” Futrelle said. “I think a lot of folks have really appreciated the direction that the town has gone in, but I think folks want to keep moving forward so I see myself in the position as being someone that can really voice those opinions and put action to those issues.”

Having the experience of serving on the board of commissioners is something that Futrelle is thankful for and feels like it will help him once he is Boone’s mayor.

“The town and county relationship is something I have heard a lot about. I am thankful to have good relationships with the commissioners and a lot of the county staff. Hopefully, I can create some new bridges and restore the relationship there,” Futrelle said.

In Seven Devils, Wayne Bonomo is running unopposed to fill an unexpired term. In the other town council race, incumbents Leigh Sasse, Jeffrey Williams and Brad Lambert are all running again and will not face any challengers. 

Beech Mountain will have the same town council as they do now with all three incumbents, J. Weidner Abernethy, Erin Gonyea and Barry Kaufman, seeking to run again and are running unopposed. 

There will be at least two new council members in Blowing Rock after Sue Sweeting and Virginia Powell decided against running for another term. Doug Matheson has chosen to run for re-election. Three others running for the Blowing Rock Town Council include Nancy Pitts Collins, Pete Gherini and Melissa Pickett. Current mayor Charlie Sellers is running unopposed in November. 

Beech Mountain Town Council (Three seats available)

J. Weidner Abernethy

Erin Gonyea

Barry Kaufman

Blowing Rock Mayor

Charlie Sellers

Blowing Rock Town Council (Three seats available)

Nancy Pitts Collins

Pete Gherini

Doug Matheson

Melissa Pickett

Boone Mayor

Tim Futrelle

Boone Town Council (Four seats available)

Todd Carter

Jon Dalton George

Benjamin Ray

Virginia Roseman

Adrian Tait

Eric Woolridge

Boone Town Council (One unexpired term)

Eric Brown

Christy M. Cook

Rebecca Nenow

Edie Tugman

Seven Devils Town Council (Three seats available)

Leigh Sasse

Jeffrey Williams

Brad Lambert

Seven Devils Town Council (One unexpired term)

Wayne Bonomo