Clyde elections take on new urgency
The saying around Haywood County goes that not much happens in the sleepy, tiny Town of Clyde, but this year’s municipal election could carry more weight than usual.
Two aldermanic seats are up for reelection; Alderman Frank Lay II filed for reelection July 10, as did Alderman Jim Trantham.
Trantham also serves as mayor pro tem, which is suddenly important; Clyde Mayor Jerry Walker recently suffered an undisclosed health issue that has put him in and out of the hospital.
“During the last two weeks of June and the first week of July, I have been regaining my strength from a recent hospital visit. It is my full intention to resume my post as mayor as soon as I am able,” he said via email July 11. “In the meantime, I know that Mayor Pro Tem Jim Trantham as well as the other board members will take care of the town business while I am out.”
Walker also thanked those who he said have helped him by sharing their concern, their cards and their prayers.
Trantham said his main goal is continuing to work for grants to repair aging infrastructure, continuing to support public safety and efficiently managing taxpayer money.
— By Cory Vaillancourt
Maggie Valley candidates slow in coming
Two Maggie Valley Aldermen — Mike Eveland and Clayton Davis — will face re-election this year should they seek it.
As of press time, neither had filed, nor had anyone else. Davis said last week he was undecided, and Eveland said he was leaning towards running. All comers still have until July 21 to file.
— By Cory Vaillancourt
One new candidate in Bryson City
Two aldermen seats are up for re-election this year in Bryson City. While incumbents Rick Bryson and Janine Crisp both confirmed they would be running for another term, neither has signed up yet to run again.
Bryson and Crisp are both finishing up their first, four-year terms on the board.
Only one challenger has signed up to run for alderman — Lisa Anthony Weeks.
Three candidates sign up in Macon County
In Franklin, terms are up for councilmembers Barbara McRae, Billy Mashburn and Patti Abel and Mayor Bob Scott.
Abel has said she will not be running again, McRae, who is completing her first four-year term, has said she’s still undecided and Mashburn has not responded to questions regarding whether he’ll run for another term. He has served on the board for more than 20 years.
Scott has signed up to seek a third term as mayor. Even though Franklin council members serve four-year terms, the mayor only serves two-year terms.
The only challenger signed up to run for the town board is David Culpepper, a Franklin native who is a regular at town board meetings to offer input on issues.
Highlands Mayor Patrick Taylor has also signed up to run again, but Commissioner incumbents Amy Patterson and Donnie Calloway have not signed up to run for re-election yet.
Election signups underway in Jackson
In Jackson County, the following candidates have signed up to run for municipal office:
• Lynda Sossamon, Sylva mayor (incumbent)
• Barbara Hamilton, Sylva commissioner (incumbent)
• Clark Corwin, Forest Hills councilmember (incumbent)
In addition, Robert Cochran has initiated the process to run for an alderman’s seat in Dillsboro but had not completed his application as of press time.
Seats up for election in Jackson County include all five aldermen and the mayor in Dillsboro; two commissioners and the mayor in Sylva; two councilmembers and the mayor in Forest Hills; and three councilmembers and the mayor in Webster.
Incumbents who have not yet signed up to run but have told The Smoky Mountain News they intend to do so include:
• Kolleen Begely, Forest Hills mayor
• David Gates, Dillsbor alderman
• Mary Gelbaugh, Sylva commissioner
• Tracy Rhodes, Webster mayor
• Beaufort Riddle, Dillsboro alderman