Early voting begins soon

Early voting for the 2011 Catawba County municipal elections starts next week.

Registered voters can fill out ballots at the Newton library beginning Oct. 20, as well as the Highland Recreation Center beginning Oct. 24.

Unregistered voters can fill out a registration form at the one-stop voting sites. They must show a valid ID as well, said Marvin Bentley, Catawba County elections specialist.

Voting for every municipality can be completed at the sites, Bentley said.

Several races look to be contentious this year.

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 that he would run for city council this year. Eckard lost to current Conover Mayor Lee Moritz Jr. in the mayoral election of 2009. He has been out of city government since.
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.

Current Conover City Council member Penny Corpening will be on the ballot, but she has withdrawn from the race.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. The former councilman said he still keeps up with town activities through eating breakfast and talking with current townspeople he served with.

There are nearly 100,000 registered voters in Catawba County, according to an elections list as of press time Tuesday.

Candidates who have filed for the election follow. Incumbents are noted.

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
Rick Fulbright
Dale (DB) Setzer, Jr.
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
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)