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Municipal election filing period ends Friday

Municipal elections will be held in November.. Municipal elections will be held in November.. File photo

The candidate filing period for November’s municipal elections that opened on July 7 ends this coming Friday, July 21, at noon, and although things are starting to solidify in some races, there have been and may continue to be some surprises. 

First among them is Waynesville’s mayoral race, which suddenly got competitive with the filing of retired DEA agent Joey Reece, a Republican. Reece narrowly missed out on an aldermanic seat in 2019 and will run on a ‘law and order’ platform against incumbent Democrat Gary Caldwell.

A number of candidates have signed up to run for Waynesville Town Council against incumbents Chuck Dickson, Jon Feichter, Julia Freeman and Anthony Sutton.

Ronnie Call, William “Tre” Franklin, Kenneth Hollifield and Stephanie Sutton have all filed, as has Peggy Hannah, who was appointed to the town’s planning board almost a year ago.

Feichter and Freeman have yet to file but told The Smoky Mountain News weeks ago that they planned to do so.

In Canton, Adam Hatton has filed to run against incumbent Alderman Ralph Hamlett and Mayor Pro Tem Gail Mull. The top two finishers will earn seats.

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Clyde’s mayor, Jim Trantham, remains unopposed. Incumbent Alderman John Hemingway has yet to file and said he may not. Dann Jesse, another incumbent alderman, filed on July 18, joining Melinda Parker and Amy Russell.

As with Trantham, no one has yet filed to run against incumbent Maggie Valley Mayor Mike Eveland. Aldermen Phillip and Tammy Wight are up for re-election, although Tammy said she won’t run. Phillip hasn’t yet filed, but two candidates — Eve Barrett and Tim Wise — have.

In Jackson County, incumbent council member Marcia Almond filed for mayor of Forest Hills after incumbent Mayor Jim Wallace said he wouldn’t. Two council seats, Almond’s and Nilofer Couture’s, are up. Couture has filed, but no one has yet stepped up to run for Almond’s.

Two seats on the Town of Webster Board of Commissioners are up, currently held by Brandon Core and Allen Davis. No one has yet filed.

In Sylva, Guy Phillips is the only candidate yet to file for mayor. Incumbent David Nestler told SMN earlier this month he hadn’t decided on his plans. Commission seats held by Ben Guiney, Greg McPherson and Brad Waldrop are also up. As of press time on July 18, Guiney and Waldrop had filed.

Three seats on the Town of Highlands Board of Commissioners are up this cycle, but one incumbent, Marc Hehn, said he wouldn’t run. Fellow incumbents John Dotson and Brian Stiehler have filed for reelection and will be challenged by Keven Gabbard, Rachel Wilson and Jeff Weller.

Franklin Mayor Jack Horton is thus far the only candidate to file in that race. Council members Joe Collins, Adam Kimsey and Mike Lewis are all up this year, but only Collins and Lewis have filed.

Things have been quiet so far in Swain County. Bryson City Mayor Tom Sutton is seeking reelection and is the only candidate in that race right now. Alderman Chad Smith has also filed for reelection, but incumbent Heidi Ramsey-Woodard hasn’t. In a separate contest, Alderman Tim Hines’ unexpired term is up, but no candidates have yet filed.

Information in this story was current as of 1:36 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18.

Voters must register by Oct. 13 to participate in the November General Election. Check your registration status by visiting . View the current list of candidates who have filed for municipal offices across the state by visiting .

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