By Nathan Ham
A total of 11 town council seats and one mayoral seat in four Watauga County towns will be up for grabs in November as the filing period for candidates will begin at noon on July 5 and will last through noon on July 19.
“In order to file for these seats, candidates must live within the town limits of which they are applying,” said Donna Houck, Watauga County Board of Elections Deputy Director.
The Boone Town Council will have three seats up for election, currently filled by Marshall Ashcraft, Lynne Mason and Loretta Clawson.
In Blowing Rock, two town council seats held by Albert Yount and Jim Steele will be up for election as well as the mayoral seat currently held by Charlie Sellers. Blowing Rock’s mayoral seat is up for election every two years while Boone’s mayoral seat is up every four years.
Beech Mountain and Seven Devils will both have three open seats. In Beech Mountain, the current incumbents are Renee Castiglione, Carl Marquardt and Wendel Sauer. In Seven Devils, the incumbents are Larry Fontaine, Kay Ehlinger and David Ehmig. Castiglione currently serves as mayor of Beech Mountain while Fontaine is the mayor of Seven Devils. Unlike Boone and Blowing Rock, the mayoral seats in these two towns are settled following the election of the town council. Council members then vote on who will serve as the mayor of their respective municipality.