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After a busy two-week filing period, southern Nash County municipalities have at least one candidate for every available office in this year’s elections.
Bailey Mayor Thomas Richards is running unopposed for his first full term. He’s finishing out the final two years of former Mayor Timothy Johnson who stepped down in 2016 to become town administrator, a post he left in January. Johnson is now running for town commissioner. He said he will spell out his campaign strategy and plans for the town at a later date.
Richards said Bailey has challenges including infrastructure and funding problems, but can be a great bedroom community to Wake County if the town had a few more amenities. He said he will sit down with The Enterprise in the coming weeks and spell out what the town needs to thrive.
“Let’s not kid around, whoever gets elected in Bailey will have their work cut out for them,” Richards said, adding that the labor is worth it because Bailey has great residents.
Richards said he took the job because it was the right thing to do.
“Don’t call me mayor, just call me Thomas,” Richards said. “I’m not a politician. I feel like I’d be letting down the town if I didn’t finish what I started.”
Bailey’s town board has five candidates running for three open seats. Commissioners Ervin Dewayne Powell, Joel Killion and Allen Daniels want to keep their place at the table. Father and son Craig Johnson and Timothy Johnson want to take away two of their seats.
Candidates for three open town board spots in Middlesex waited until the last few days of the filing period to put their names on the dotted line.
Commissioners J.W. McClenny, Danny Alford and Cherrye High Davis face challengers William Ward and Brenda L. West.
Alford, Davis and West filed July 15. McClenny and Ward filed July 18.
Newcomer West said she tossed her hat in the ring because she believes in community involvement.
Originally from Florida, West and her husband moved to Middlesex a year ago after he retired from the Air Force.
“We knew we wanted to live in North Carolina and fell in love with Middlesex,” West said.
In Spring Hope, incumbents Brenda Lucas and Nancy Walker are seeking reelection as town commissioners. Newcomer Prudence Wilkins is challenging for one of their seats.
In neighboring Momeyer, two incumbents and a challenger are vying for two open seats on the town board. Commissioners George Alma Edwards and Edward Jackson look to retain office with Richard V. Matthews looking to replace one of them.
Candidate filing is closed for all of Nash County except Castalia, a small town 15 miles north of Spring Hope, where only two hopefuls have signed up to run for three available seats on the town board, said Nash County Elections Director John Kearney.
Filing for Castalia has been extended until noon Friday, according to a decision made last week by the Nash County Board of Elections.
Election Day is Nov. 5. One-Stop voting times and dates haven’t been determined.