By Nathan Ham
So far, six candidates have filed their paperwork to run in the upcoming municipal elections happening in November throughout Watauga County. The Watauga County Board of Elections shared the first wave of filings on Tuesday.
The filing period began on July 5 and so far, four of the six candidates to file are incumbents. In total, there will be 11 town council seats and one mayoral seat that will be decided this fall. Candidates must file to run for office by noon on July 19.
The Boone Town Council will have three seats up for election. Loretta Clawson has filed for re-election to the town council. Virginia Roseman, who is not currently on the council, has also filed to run for one of the three council seats. Marshall Ashcraft and Lynne Mason currently hold the other two contested seats.
In Blowing Rock, Mayor Charlie Sellers has filed to run for re-election. The Blowing Rock Mayoral seat is voted on every two years unlike Boone, where the mayoral seat is voted on every four years. Blowing Rock also has two spots available on the town council. Incumbent Albert Yount was the only one to file their paperwork to run again so far. Jim Steele holds the other seat.
Watauga County has two other municipalities that will vote this November with Seven Devils and Beech Mountain both offering three town council seats open for votes. The mayoral seat for both towns will be decided on after the town council votes are cast. Both towns determine its mayor by a council vote rather than by a public vote.
Two candidates have filed to run for council in Beech Mountain, including incumbent and mayor Renee Castiglione. The other candidate in Beech Mountain to file was Jimmie Accardi who is not an incumbent and will be running for one of three seats. The other two Beech Mountain incumbents are Carl Marquardt and Wendel Sauer.
So far, no candidates have filed for election in Seven Devils. Current incumbents are Larry Fontaine, Kay Ehlinger and David Ehmig. Fontaine is the mayor of Seven Devils.