South Charlotte

Mecklenburg elections could cause little shift in boards

Jim Taylor, incumbent mayor of Matthews.
Jim Taylor, incumbent mayor of Matthews.

Candidate filing for November’s Mecklenburg County election ended at noon July 17, with many municipal seats up for grabs.

Depending on the election outcome, the governing boards in the three southern towns – Matthews, Mint Hill and Pineville – may look much the same for the next two years. They could also turn be vastly different from those currently in place.

In Matthews, there two candidates are running for mayor – incumbent Mayor Jim Taylor and Robert Guy Powell III.

Nine candidates are running for six commissioner seats in the town; one familiar name isn’t on the list.

Longtime Matthews Commissioner Kress Query is not running for re-election. The most seasoned member of the current board, Query served as commissioner and mayor pro-tem for a year in 1969, then was appointed to the mayor seat the next year. He was elected to two more terms as mayor, before retiring from politics for a time.

At citizens’ requests, he returned to the board in 1993 and will soon complete 11 terms – 22 years – as commissioner.

“I had five years as mayor and 22 years as a council member,” Query said, “and I feel like it’s time to let newer people use their ideas. But I’m going to be watching, and after two years, if I don’t think they are doing the right thing, then I will run again.”

Matthews commissioner candidates are John Higdon, Gina Hoover, Christopher Melton, Jeff Miller, Joe Pata, John Ross, Nobie Thrasher, John Urban and Larry Whitley.

In Mint Hill, Mayor Ted Biggers is running unopposed to gain a ninth term.

All four incumbent commissioners are running, as are four challengers.

Mint Hill commissioner candidates are Lloyd Austin, Dale Dalton, Carl “Mickey” Ellington, Harry Marsh, Alan McKenzie, Richard “Fig” Newton, Katrina “Tina” Weaver Ross and James Stapleton.

Pineville Mayor Jack Edwards is running unopposed for a two-year term, but this year, the council seats transition to four-year, staggered terms.

That means that the two highest vote-getters for Pineville Town Council in November will serve four-year terms. The candidates placing third and fourth will serve two-year terms, with their seats up for re-election in 2017.

The terms will be staggered every four years from that point forward, with two council seats and the mayoral seat up for re-election every two years.

Candidates running for Pineville Town Council are Deborah Fowler, L.R. (Les) Gladden, John Harless, Chris McDonough, Adam Perkins, David Phillips, Jonathan James Rutkowski, Julianna Tinklenberg and Juliet Van Dyke.

Incumbent council member Melissa Rogers Davis is not seeking re-election.

Melinda Johnston is a freelance writer:

Learn more:

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. For more information about candidates and other races in the county, visit, then select “candidate listing.”