Conover, Maiden council races full

Most filing for the 2011 Catawba County Municipal Elections is complete, and several council races have a host of competitors.

The Conover City Council race has three seats open for election, but eight candidates declared for the race. In addition to all three incumbents up for re-election, the filers include a past Conover mayor and current school board member.

Former Conover Mayor Bruce Eckard declared Friday that he would run for city council. Eckard lost to current Conover Mayor Lee Moritz Jr. in the mayoral election of 2009.

He has been out of city government since.

“I have continued to attend the council meetings and stayed abreast of what was going on,” Eckard said. “It will not take long to get back up to speed.”

Eckard said several citizens approached him and asked him to run.

“I have that experience and have not been gone that long,” he said.

Current Newton-Conover City Schools board member Kim Cline will attempt to make the jump from school to city government by also declaring for the Conover council race.

She has been on the school board since December 2009.

“I enjoy the school board, but since being elected, my office has moved to Conover, and I see a big need for things in Conover that I think I can make a difference in,” Cline said.

Cline said her experience on the school board can help her transition to city council, if elected.

“I’ve enjoyed it and learned a lot,” she said. “I’ve met a lot of people. I’ve worked hard to get some things changed, and it’s been a good experience.”

If Cline were to be elected, she could not serve on the NCCS school board.

Conover City Council incumbent Penny M. Corpening filed for the race, dropped out and then filed again. After initially filing for the city council race at the beginning of the month, Corpening sent a withdrawal letter to the Catawba County Board of Elections on July 11. On Friday, she called and said she still wanted to run, said board of election specialist Marvin Bentley.

Corpening could not be reached for comment as of press time Friday.

Maiden council race

The Maiden Town Council race will also be competitive, with seven candidates filing for three positions.

Like Conover, all three incumbent candidates filed to seek re-election against former council members like George McClellan.

McClellan, who served four years ago on Maiden Town Council, said he is running again because he can still contribute to the town.

“I’ve been on the council before, and maybe I have a little something that I had to contribute to the discussion of the council,” McClellan said.

The former councilman said he still keeps up with town activities through eating breakfast and talking with current townspeople he served with.

The candidates:

Brookford Alderman
Bryan Wright
Sue Noblitt (I)
Harry A. Wallace (I)

Catawba Mayor
Vance Readling (I)
Jeff Hendren

Catawba Councilmen
Ryan Kormanik
Patrick Laney
Thomas Johnston
Karen Abernathy Ester (I)

Claremont Councilmen
James “PJ” Stanley (I)
M. Dale Sherrill (I)
Nicky E. Setzer (I)

Conover Councilmen
Don A. Beal (I)
Kyle J. Hayman (I)
Jeff Byrd
James N. Wilson
Lewis “Lew” Waddell
Kim Cline
Bruce R. Eckard
Penny M. Corpening (I)

Maiden Mayor
Robert L. “Bob” Smyre (I)

Maiden Councilmen
David Boldon (I)
Mike Moore
Max Bumgarner Jr. (I)
William “Bill” Cashion
Howard Ervin (I)
George McClellan
Wayne McKinney

Newton Mayor
Anne Petree Stedman
Wes Weaver

Newton Councilmen
Mae Lutz McLean
Tom Rowe (I)
Wayne Dellinger (I)
Mary Bess Lawing (I)