With one week of filing remaining for some area municipalities, 17 candidates officially declared for the 2011 Catawba County municipal elections.
Two non-incumbent candidates filed for Newton’s mayoral race, which is the only election that currently has multiple people filed for one position. Newton Mayor pro Tem Anne Stedman, along with the Newton Merchant Group’s President Wes Weaver, officially filed for the mayoral election that will take place later this year. Newton’s current mayor Robert Mullinax said, earlier this year, he will not seek re-election.
Weaver said the recession sparked his interest to run for mayor.
“The main thing I’m going to try my hardest to do is bring more jobs to the area,” Weaver said, adding that he would not have run if Mullinax sought re-election. “I want my kids to be able to live in Newton, but if things go the way they are now, there won’t be any opportunities for them here. They will have to move to Charlotte, Atlanta or some other place to find work.”
Stedman, who has served on Newton City Council for eight years, thinks her experience with the city gives her a better understanding of how Newton operates.
“I’ve always been passionate about Newton,” Stedman said. “I was born and raised here, moved away and came back. I saw Newton with new eyes, and I’m very familiar with how the city has run.”
Stedman also wants to create jobs in the area and said she is passionate about revitalizing the downtown Newton area.
Vance Readling, the incumbent mayor for the town of Catawba, also filed for re-election. No one has filed for two town councilman seats that are expiring.
“I still think I have things to do to help the people of Catawba,” Readling said. “I think we’ve got to get industry in town, but it’s not an easy job for Catawba.”
Readling said he’s not sure if the incumbent Catawba council members, Karen Ester and Jeff Isenhour, will re-file.
“Both of them say they are not, but I don’t know whether they are going to run or not,” Readling said. “We hired a new town manager, and he’s doing a great job, but we need people on the council to help him out.”
Maiden Mayor Bob Smyre also declared he was running for re-election last week. Others who filed include:
Town of Brookford aldermen
Harry A. Wallace
City of Claremont councilmen
Nicky E. Setzer
M. Dale Sherrill
James “P.J.” Stanley
City of Conover councilmen
Don A. Beal
Penny M. Corpening
Kyle J. Hayman
Town of Maiden councilmen
Max Bumgarner Jr.
City of Newton councilmen
Mae Lutz McLean