If the number of candidates on the ballot is any indication, this fall should bring an exciting campaign season to the three towns in northern Mecklenburg County and Mooresville in Iredell County.
The filing period for 2017 municipal elections closed July 21, and the slates in Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville and Mooresville are brimming with candidates eager to serve their towns for the next few years.
“This trend started several years ago. We have a lot of people interested in the local process,” said Mecklenburg County Board of Elections Director Michael Dickerson.
“Any way you shape it, it’s good for democracy.”
Dickerson says to look for campaign signs to start lining streets, yards and businesses shortly after Labor Day, as candidates start campaigning and vying for votes.
The general election for all towns will be Nov. 7, with early voting beginning Oct. 19.
Mayor Chuck Travis is not running for re-election, and incumbent commissioner Woody Washam Jr. is the only name on the ballot for that seat.
Eleven candidates have signed up in hopes of replacing Washam as commissioner, or being elected to one of the four other nonpartisan seats.
Candidates for Cornelius commissioner are Denis P. Bilodeau, Ava Callender, incumbent Jim Duke, Michelle Ferlauto, incumbent Dave Gilroy, incumbent Dr. Michael “Mike” Miltich, Kurt Naas, William Rakatansky, incumbent Thurman Ross Jr., Tricia Sisson and Richard J. Stilwell Jr.
Cornelius commissioners serve two-year terms.
Mayor John Woods is being challenged by Russell B. “Rusty” Knox Jr. and Laurie A. Venzon.
Commissioner and mayor pro tem Beth Cashion and commissioner Brian Jenest are not seeking re-election.
The race for commissioner boasts 13 candidates hoping to fill five seats on the board. Running for Davidson commissioner are incumbent Stacey Anderson, Michael V. Angell, George Berger, Jane Campbell, Shana Erber, Ryan Fay, Matthew Fort, incumbent Jim Fuller, incumbent Rodney Graham, Autumn Rierson Michael, David E. Sitton, Troy A. Taylor and Sam “Sammy” Weaver.
Davidson commissioners serve two-year terms.
Davidson residents will also have the opportunity to vote on a local $15 million bond referendum that would be used to fund mobility and transportation improvements, greenways and parks.
Mayor John Aneralla is running unopposed for another term.
Commissioner Rob Kidwell did not file for re-election.
Twelve candidates are running for six commissioner seats. Commissioner candidates are incumbent Melinda Bales, incumbent Dan Boone, incumbent Mark Gibbons, incumbent Charles S. Guignard, William Haigler, Brian Hines, Aaron Hintz, Jonathan Hudson, Lance Munger, incumbent Danny Phillips, Joe Sailers and Nick Walsh.
Huntersville commissioners serve two-year terms.
Mayor Miles Atkins will face James F. “Toodles” Ritchie, Thomas A. Tohn and C. J. Zethof in October’s primary. The two highest vote getters will be on November’s mayoral ballot.
Early voting for the Oct. 10 primary in Mooresville begins Sept. 21.
Commissioner at large David Coble did not file for re-election.
Five candidates are vying for Coble’s commissioner a- large seat. That list of candidates will be narrowed to two after the October primary.
Those candidates are: Jeremy Katz, Scott Kazura, Karl Schwalb, Angela Carruba Stutts and Gary West.
Three candidates are vying for Ward 3 commissioner seat: incumbent Danny F. Beaver, Lounce Rucker and Barbara B. Whittington. That list will also be narrowed to two after the primary.
Michael P. Goudreault and incumbent Lisa Qualls are running for commissioner of ward 4. Since there are only two names on the ballot, that race will not be included in the primary.
Mooresville commissioners serve four-year staggered terms.
Melinda Johnston is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.