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Candidates begin lining up for Waynesville election

The candidate filing period for municipal elections begins July 7. The candidate filing period for municipal elections begins July 7. Cory Vaillancourt photo

Every seat on Waynesville’s Board of Aldermen will be up for election this year, but if the town’s plan for pursuing the staggered terms comes to pass, the order in which candidates finish will be important. The top two finishers will be awarded four-year terms, and the next two finishers will be awarded two-year terms.

In 2025, the candidates who won two-year terms will then run for four-year terms if they so choose, thus setting up the staggered elections going forward.

The election of mayor, which is separate from the aldermanic elections, will not be affected either way.

The General Election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7; however, candidates must file their paperwork with the Board of Elections between noon on Friday, July 7, and noon on Friday, July 21.

Three incumbent aldermen — Chuck Dickson, Julia Boyd Freeman and Anthony Sutton — told The Smoky Mountain News last week that they would seek reelection, as did Mayor Gary Caldwell, who has spent the past 28 years as an alderman and as mayor.

Alderman Jon Feichter said he hadn’t yet made up his mind.

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“I absolutely love what I’m doing and who I’m doing it for,” Feichter said. “But I’ve also had some health issues that have been challenging this year. That said, with my love for this community and its people, I think you try and deal with that because like I said, I absolutely love what I’m doing and who I’m doing it for, but ultimately I have not made a decision.”

Retired DEA agent and Waynesville native Joey Reece, who narrowly missed out on winning a seat back in 2019, said he would not run. Reece was recently elected vice chair of the Haywood County Republican Party, and said he’d concentrate his efforts there.

Ronnie Call, who sought appointment to the Waynesville Planning Board last summer but was not selected, has a Facebook page that says he’s a candidate, but Call did not respond to a message asking if he was still planning to run.

The Smoky Mountain News has not yet heard from any others considering a run for alderman, or for mayor.

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