By Nathan Ham
A total of 406 voters have made their ways to the polls for early voting in the local municipalities of Watauga County. 283 of those votes have been at the Plemmons Student Union at Appalachian State and the other 123 have been counted at the Watauga County Administration Building on King Street.
Election Day this year is November 5 with precinct polls opening at 6:30 a.m. and closing at 7:30 p.m.
The overwhelming majority of early voters have been in the Boone Town Council race with 374 of the 406 votes. Blowing Rock has had 18 early votes, Seven Devils has had eight early votes and Beech Mountain has had six early votes.
Early voting will continue at the Plemmons Student Union October 28 through November 1 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Early voting at the administration building will continue October 28 through November 1 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
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.
In Boone, two current town council members, Marshall Ashcraft and Lynn Mason, chose not to seek reelection. Incumbent Loretta Clawson is seeking another term on the 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.
Three town council seats in Beech Mountain will be up for grabs. All three incumbents, Renee Castiglione, Wendel Sauer and Carl Marquardt, filed for reelection. Jimmie Accardi, Kelly Melang and Erin Gonyea filed to challenge for one of those three seats.
The final municipal election will be in Seven Devils where incumbents Larry Fontaine and Kay Ehlinger filed for reelection. Current councilman David Ehmig will not be seeking reelection. Two other candidates, Wayne Bonomo and Jeff Williams, will be on the ballot with three seats available between those four candidates.