With fewer than three months before municipal and school board elections in Mooresville, the races involve a number of candidates running for re-election, with less than a handful of newcomers.
The November elections for the town’s Board of Commissioners and the Mooresville Graded School District Board of Education involve 11 candidates, more than half of them incumbents. Neither election will have a primary, which is required for races with more than two candidates.
With the number of votes cast in local elections decreasing significantly in recent years, voter turnout is expected to remain relatively low, said Becky Galliher, director of the Iredell County Board of Elections. That is especially true for the municipal election, given that the three seats open on the board of commissioners are uncontested with an incumbent running for each.
Most noteworthy is the mayor’s race.
Incumbent Miles Atkins is running against Jeremiah “C.J.” Zethof, a 33-year-old small business owner. The mayor is limited to two-year terms and commissioners to four-year ones. Elected officials can run for re-election as many times as they wish.
Election Day is Nov. 3. Early voting will take place from Oct. 22 to Oct. 31, and voters can start casting ballots by mail on Oct. 2.
The candidates running for office in the municipal election are:
▪ Miles Atkins (R, incumbent)
353 South Academy Street
Should he win re-election, Atkins said he would focus on mitigating traffic congestion throughout town as well as implementing a strategy to address its housing needs.
Acknowledging that the town is anticipating growth in coming years, he added that he would seek ways to attract new business and industry while increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of public services.
“Through hard work and collaboration we have made significant strides in building a shared vision where citizens in all neighborhoods enjoy safe streets, reliable infrastructure, access to amenities, and more opportunities for a good quiet of life, he said. “I want to keep working on guiding responsible growth … “
At 52, Atkins is the director of corporate affairs and government relations at the Iredell Health System in Statesville. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Auburn University in the mid-1980s.
▪ Jeremiah “C.J.” Zethof (unaffiliated)
172 Bluffton Road
In his first bid for elected office, Zethof said if he becomes the next mayor, he would work to address what he said is widespread voter apathy in this town improve communication between citizens and elected officials. In addition, he said that he would focus on putting in place public infrastructure “that will support not just the Mooresville of today, but set up the town for future generations.”
Zethof, 33, who graduated from North Mecklenburg High School, owns Black Bear Candle Company in downtown Mooresville.
▪ Bobby Compton (D, incumbent)
P.O. Box 862
Having spent much of his life involved in municipal affairs, Compton said among the major issues facing Mooresville are improvements to transportation and sewer infrastructure.
He is running for re-election partly because of “unfinished business,” including addressing transportation issues, overseeing recreation improvements and completing a housing initiative. Encouragement from supporters, he said, was also a factor.
The 58-year-old, who graduated from the UNC School of Government, has spent more than three decades with the town government. He is running for at-large commissioner.
▪ Eddie Dingler (R, incumbent)
814 South Main Street
Running for a second term, Dingler suggested that should he win re-election, he would focus on improving the transportation infrastructure throughout town as well as carrying out capital improvements.
In addition, he suggested that he would provide extra financial oversight, citing his experience running a well-known grocery store in town that has remained in his family for generations and that he started working for after graduating from Mooresville High School.
“How much service can we do with what we have without raising taxes?” Dingler asked.
Referring to civic affairs, the 39-year-old said “it’s a part of my life” these days, noting that he was encouraged to run for office four years ago.
▪ Thurman Houston (D, incumbent)
346 West Moore Avenue
Houston did not respond to multiple requests for comment on why he is running for re-election, as well as what issues he intends to focus on next term.
In addition to serving as commissioner, he serves on the board of directors of I-Care Inc., a nonprofit community-action organization based in Statesville, and on the town’s recreation advisory board.
On the Mooresville school board, the field of candidates is larger than in previous elections, with six competing for three open seats. Board members are limited to staggered four-year terms
Three of them are incumbents. They are Roger Hyatt (R), of 834 Ferncliff Drive; Larry Wilson (unaffiliated), 581 Patterson Farm Road; and Sue Wilson (R), 115 Pickens Lane.
The challengers are Debbie Marsh (D), 868 South Magnolia Street; and brothers James Meadows Jr. (D), 524 Wiggins Road, and John Meadows (D), 431 Wiggins Road.
Jake Flannick is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.