By Nathan Ham
Early voting for municipal elections in Watauga County came to an end last Friday with a total of 896 early votes counted at the Watauga County Administration Building and the Plemmons Student Union at Appalachian State.
Looking at the voting breakdown, 647 of the votes were counted at the student union while 249 votes were counted at the administration building. The vast majority of votes were for the municipality of Boone with 832 votes counted. In Blowing Rock, 38 early votes were counted while 15 votes were counted in Beech Mountain and 11 votes were counted in Seven Devils.
Precinct polls open at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday and will close at 7:30 p.m. for the four municipal elections happening in Boone, Blowing Rock, Beech Mountain and Seven Devils.
Incumbent Loretta Clawson is seeking another term on the Boone Town Council. Virginia Roseman, Nancy LaPlaca and Dustin Hicks have filed to run as newcomers. Three council seats will be up for election between these four candidates.
In Blowing Rock, two town council seats and the mayoral seat will be up for election. Mayor Charlie Sellers is running unopposed while town council incumbents Jim Steele and Albert Yount face challenges from David Harwood and Ray Pickett.
It is a crowded candidate field in Beech Mountain where all three incumbents, Renee Castiglione, Wendel Sauer and Carl Marquardt, filed for reelection. Jimmie Accardi, Kelly Melang and Erin Gonyea also filed for the election. Three seats on the council are up for grabs.
The final municipal election will be in Seven Devils where incumbents Larry Fontaine and Kay Ehlinger filed for reelection. Two other candidates, Wayne Bonomo and Jeff Williams, will be on the ballot with three seats available between those four candidates.