By Tim Gardner
City, township and village municipal government seat filings concluded at 12:00 Noon today (Friday July 19) and a total of twenty-six (26) candidates filed for office in Avery County.
Filing began on Friday, July 5 for statewide municipal offices.
Seats will be open for some Mayor and Town Council seats in the following Avery townships: Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Elk Park, Village of Sugar Mountain, Village of Grandfather, Beech Mountain and Seven Devils.
Candidates who have filed in Avery County include: incumbents Kenny Caraway, Christie Hughes and Dave Calvert for Newland Town Council; incumbents David Lecka, Ray Allen Bolick and Charles B. Von Canon, Jr. for Banner Elk Town Council; incumbent Brenda Lyerly for Banner Elk Mayor; Terry Smith, Roy Ingram and incumbents Jesse Smith and Jane Milanovich for Crossnore Town Council; David (Eddie) Yarber for Crossnore Mayor; incumbent Bob Donovan for Village of Grandfather Mayor and incumbents Richard C. Norman and Charles (Chuck) Fuller for Village of Grandfather Town Council; Elaine McKinney Crane and Bruce Hicks and incumbents Tommy Norman, Brad Benfield, Joel Whitley, Tony Eller and Mike Smith for Elk Park Town Council; incumbent Daniel Boone for Elk Park Mayor; Lewis (Van) Lecka and incumbent Jonathan Green for Village of Sugar Mountain Town Council and Gunter Jochl for Village of Sugar Mountain Mayor. Jochl is an incumbent, but not as Mayor. He is currently a member of the Village’s Town Council.
No candidates from Avery County filed for offices in Beech Mountain or Seven Devils.
Some sections of Beech Mountain and Seven Devils are in Avery County and other parts are in Watauga County. Candidates in those townships must file in the county in which they resides and their voters must cast their ballots in the county in which they reside.
However, six candidates who reside in Watauga County are running for Beech Mountain Municipal seats, including incumbent Renee Castiglione for Mayor, incumbents Wendel Sauer and Carl Marquardt and Jimmie Accardi, Kelly Melang and Erin Gonyea for Town Council.
In the Town of Seven Devils, four candidates from Watuaga County have filed for offices,including incumbent Larry Fontaine for Mayor and incumbent Kay Ehlinger for Town Council. Wayne Bonomo and Jeff Williams are also candidates for Seven Devils Town Council.
Absentee by Mail voting begins on October 7. The last day to request an absentee ballot by mail is October 29.
The deadline to register to vote is October 11 at 5:00 p.m. Voter registration can be done at the Avery Board of Elections Office.
Early voting also may be done at the Avery County Board of Elections office, located in the Avery County Court House at 200 Montezuma Street, #307, in Newland. The early voting days and hours of operation are: Wednesday, October 16- Friday, October 18 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday, October 21 – Friday,October 25 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday, October 28- Friday,November 1 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday, November 2 (Only Saturday) 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
General Election Day this year is November 5 and voting can be done at each township’s or village’s voting site. Precinct polls will be open then from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.