By Nathan Ham
There is still time to file the paperwork to run for office in multiple municipal elections coming up this November. Candidates have until noon on July 16 to put their names on the ballot for the upcoming election on November 2.
Candidate filings for races in Boone, Blowing Rock, Beech Mountain and Seven Devils officially began on July 2. So far, nine candidates have filed to run for office.
In Boone, Tim Futrelle has filed to run for mayor. Virginia Roseman is seeking re-election to the town council. She was appointed to the council following the retirement of Loretta Clawson on January 31. Jon Dalton George has also filed to run for the Boone Town Council. Joan Brook and Edie Tugman have filed to run for an unexpired term seat on the town council left open by the resignation of councilperson Dustin Hicks. Hicks announced his decision to step down from the council in May, effective July 31. Town councilperson Connie Ulmer has announced that she will not seek re-election this fall.
“Now my term is ending in December, I want to take a moment to thank the Town of Boone for electing me to serve on the Town Council for these past four years. It has been a pleasure to work with elected officials, staff and the community. When I applied for a position on the Town Council, I promised to listen, to be a part of the conversation and to help all people in the community. Although a challenge, that was my goal throughout and I believe I fulfilled that Promise,” Ulmer said in a letter to the town and its citizens. “As the years passed, I realize, I have come to a juncture where my life challenges have changed and I must take a different path. So, in moving forward, I have decided not to run for a second term on the Boone Town Council. During my time of service, I have seen some positive changes and some setbacks. It was an honor to help the town address many difficult issues including access to voting, student representation in local government, Boone Greenway expansion and the development of the Boone Greenway Skate Park, the naming of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Howard Street Improvement Project, restoration of the Appalachian Theatre, climate change and sustainability, the dedication of the Junaluska Historic Marker, the development of the Downtown Boone Historic District and Appalcart’s first electric bus.”
Ulmer continued saying that there are still plenty of things that Boone can do to more benefit its residents.
“There are still conversations, projects and issues that need our attention, such as affordable housing, stormwater issues, sustainability, homelessness, growing tourism impacts, community safety, economic growth, transportation, diversity, neighborhood protection…and there will always be more. We must continue to be willing to take part in the hard decisions. If I leave any advice, I would say ‘listen’, to yourself, to your heart and to each other. A feeling of togetherness throughout the town is the only way we can get back or closer to our new goal, a small town with a large appetite,” she said. “If everyone continues to be active and positive, we will do more good than harm to each other and our town. By continuing to vote in the upcoming elections, serving in elected positions, and/or volunteering on town boards and committees each of us has the opportunity to make a difference where we live. Town Council is a great place to start.”
Current Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz and other councilmembers Nancy LaPlaca and Sam Furgiuele are also up for re-election this year should they choose to run again.
Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers is seeking re-election. Doug Matheson has chosen to run for re-election this fall. Pete Gherini and Melissa Pickett have filed to run for the Blowing Rock Town Council. Council seats held by Matheson, Virginia Powell and Sue Sweeting are up for election this year.
In Beech Mountain, Erin Gonyea and J. Weidner Abernethy have filed to run for re-election. An additional council seat held by Barry Kaufman is up for grabs this November as well.
Four of the five seats on the Seven Devils Town Council are up for election. So far, none of the incumbents (Brad Lambert, Wayne Bonomo, Leigh Sasse and Jeffrey Williams) have filed for re-election and no challengers have filed to run.