Saratoga mayoral race heats up

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A former mayor and commissioner has thrown his hat back in the ring for the Saratoga town election. John Cayton was among seven candidates who filed paperwork with the Wilson County Board of Elections on Monday.

Candidate filing for November’s municipal elections continues until noon Friday.


Cayton served for eight years on the town commission before being elected mayor in 1995 when Charles “Tommy” Hawkins resigned to serve as a commissioner. Cayton served as mayor until 2001 when he decided not to run again and Hawkins was elected. In 2005, Cayton initially filed to oppose Hawkins, but dropped out before the election and Hawkins won the seat.

Hawkins and Commissioner Timothy Shelton filed for re-election on July 10. Commissioner Elaine Saunders submitted the paperwork for re-election on July 9 and on Friday, newcomer Delance Ellis filed to run for commissioner.

In addition to the mayor seat, three commissioner seats will be on the ballot in November.


Commissioner Ellen Dawson filed for re-election on Friday. She is the fifth candidate running for office in Saratoga.

Incumbent William Roland Godwin filed on Wednesday, Commissioners Roland Wayne Lucas and Larry Price filed on Thursday and on Friday, newcomer Stanley Talton threw his hat into the ring.

Mayor Ralph Smith Jr. also filed for re-election on July 9.

In addition to the mayor seat, five commissioner seats will be on the ballot in November.


Commissioner Dale Childress was the fourth Elm City official vying for re-election when he filed Monday.

Marsha Wells filed on July 9 and Mayor Grady Smith filed with Commissioner Gilbert “Gil” Wheeler on Wednesday.

In addition to the mayor seat, five commissioner seats will be on the ballot in November.


Two Stantonsburg officials submitted paperwork for re-election Monday. Mayor William Edmundson and Commissioner H. Powell Dew Jr. are the third and fourth to file for Stantonsburg office.

On Monday, current commissioner and mayoral hopeful Coley Rhodes submitted her paperwork. Newcomer Walter Bynum filed to run for the town commission on July 9.

The mayor and two commissioner seats are up for election in November.


A new candidate is the running for town commission after Helen Boykin submitted her paperwork Monday. Boykin is the first to file for one of two commissioner seats on the ballot in November, but Mayor Miranda Stamper filed on the first day under her maiden name, Miranda Boykin.


Incumbent Peggy Lamm was the first Lucama candidate to file when she submitted her re-election paperwork on Monday. The town has two commissioner seats up for election.