07/08/07 — Municipal filing period opens

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Municipal filing period opens

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on July 8, 2007 2:01 AM

Filing for municipal elections in Wayne County kicked off at noon Friday with Goldsboro mayoral candidate D.A. Stuart the first in line to submit his paperwork.

For him, being among the first to file was a matter of making a statement.

"I've already started (campaigning). I knew four years ago I wanted to run for mayor. The mayor knew four weeks ago," Stuart said.

Others just didn't see the point in waiting.

"We made up our minds (to run) and when you make up your mind, you go ahead," said L.J. Stanley, who, with his treasurer Dave Quick by his side, filed for Goldsboro City Council District 2.

Open this year are all of the seats on the Goldsboro, Mount Olive and Fremont city councils, as well as the mayor positions. Portions of the Eureka, Pikeville, Seven Springs and Walnut Creek mayoral and council seats also are up for election.

In addition, people interested in serving on the Fork Township, Northwestern Wayne, Southern Wayne and Southwestern Wayne sanitary district boards will have the opportunity to run this year.

The filing period will last until noon, Friday, July 20.

As expected, county elections director Gary Sims said that Friday was a fairly busy afternoon, with 13 candidates filing.

"I think it's pretty average. We have all seven of our municipalities filing and we're doing it in a compressed time frame this year," he said. "I expect after people see who filed today it'll be pretty steady next week.

"I expect our busiest days will be today (Friday) and there right at the end when all the races fill up."

So far, few of the candidates have indicated they plan on receiving or spending more than $3,000 -- the threshold for campaign finance reporting.

That, however, could change as the election season continues, especially if multiple candidates enter a race or one becomes particularly heated, Sims explained. In those cases each candidate has the option of coming back into the office and adjusting that paperwork.

"There's always the potential that the (Goldsboro) mayoral seat could be a big election," he said. "But most just sit back and wait to see if anything comes up."

In Goldsboro, if more than two candidates file for any seat, there will be a primary for that race only.

That means if District 1 features three candidates, only District 1 will have a primary. If District 2 has more than three running, then it, too, will have a primary. If the mayoral race draws a crowd of three or more, then there will be a citywide primary.

Often, Sims said, there is at least one city contest requiring multiple elections.

"That actually happens very frequently," he said.

Goldsboro, though, is the only municipality in the county with a provision for a primary.

If needed, it would be held on Oct. 9.

The general election will be held on Nov. 6.

The deadline to register to vote is 25 calendar days before any election.

People interested in filing for one of the open seats, or in registering to vote, can visit the Wayne County Board of Elections office at 209 S. William St.