The filing deadline for municipal elections ended Friday with applications from 42 incumbents and political newcomers in Wilson County races.
While councilmen Tom Fyle and Logan Liles are unopposed for their respective seats on the Wilson City Council, two of their colleagues will face competition in the Nov. 7 election. One such challenger is Mark Aldrich who filed against District 5 councilman Donald Evans.
Aldrich, 38, is a math teacher at Beddingfield High School and has lived in Wilson since the early ’90s, including nearly a decade in District 5. The political newcomer said he filed Thursday because he felt residents should be given a choice of representation.
“I believe having someone a little younger would add a different viewpoint that might not be expressed otherwise,” he said. “Most of the (councilmen) are business owners and nearing retirement.”
District 7 Councilman Derrick Creech also is facing opposition in the November election. Voters will choose between Creech, Johnnie E. Chestnut and William “Bill” Darden. Creech, who was elected four years ago, reflected on his work to establish committees of residents to address issues in the city’s east central district.
“You just don’t get on City Council and make waves. You’ve got to work with the individuals who are there and worth together for Wilson. You can’t do anything by yourself.
“I had that idea at first, but I had to learn that we’re all in this together and it takes all of us to make positive changes.”
There are several Wilson communities with uncontested races such as the mayor post in Black Creek and Saratoga along with the commission seats in Black Creek, Saratoga and Sims.
Other races will be decided by voters at the polls. For example, Elm City Mayor Grady Smith will face-off against Gene Wells, while incumbents Gil Wheeler, Marsha Wells, John Edwards, Melvin Cooke and Dale Childress face newcomers Cornell Mercer and Lewis Crockett Jr. for five seats on the town commission. In Stantonsburg, newcomers Coley Hunt Rhodes, Jeanna Clary and James M. Fontaine are opposing incumbents Donnie Bass and Jackie Grice for three seats on the town commission.
Following the spring resignation by the Lucama mayor, commissioner Tim Wiggs stepped into the role, but Wiggs filed to resume his post as a commissioner. Fellow commissioner Jed Simpson filed to fill the mayor role against Abelardo Fragoso Jr., who is a political newcomer. In addition to Wiggs, incumbents Peggy Batten Lamm and David A. Johnson filed to retain their seats but will face newcomers Patricia T. Uzzell, Brenda Elmore Blalock and Stephen Kent Bradshaw for the three seats up for election.
Residents seeking the post of mayor or commissioner in Sharpsburg could file their paperwork in Wilson, Nash or Edgecombe counties since the town falls in all three, but all filings happened in Nash County. Mayor Randy Weaver will face Robert L. Williams Jr. in November while newcomer Maurice Garrett and former commissioner Linda Virgil go against incumbents Randall Collie and Beverly K. Davis for two seats on the town council.
Also in Nash County, the two seats open on the Middlesex council will stay with Ann M. Lewis and Harold Meacombs, who were unopposed, but the mayor of the small town faces competition. Voters will have to decide between Mayor Lu Harvey Lewis, Becky May Strickland and Levi Ray Evans.
In Bailey, Dwan Hope Finch is challenging incumbents Shelly B. Carroll, Allen C. Daniels and Howard Wescott — who was previously appointed to fill an unexpired term — for three commissioner seats. The post of mayor of the Nash County community also was up for election, but no one filed for the race.
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