Saunders Plans to Run as Write-In Candidate
Incumbent Whispering Pines Councilman Randy Saunders is back in the race.
Saunders, who decided against seeking re-election earlier this year, has opted to run actively as a write-in candidate after several candidates dropped out.
"I feel good about the decision," Saunders said. "I am glad to be back in the race."
Saunders agreed to seek re-election at the urging of Mayor Bob Zschoche after Ron Saylor withdrew from the election for personal reasons. That left only two candidates, Zschoche and Gregory Biggs, for three seats.
Two other candidates who filed during the extended filing period, Gerald Osborne and Scott Everly, have also withdrawn from the race.
Saunders, who was first elected in 2005, said choosing not to run was more difficult than opting to jump back in the race as a write-in candidate.
"When I decided originally not to run, I got a lot of calls from people who told me they wished I was running," Saunders said.
Saunders cited two reasons for not seeking re-election.
First, changes in his business have forced him to travel extensively, which limits his availability for some council functions.
"I will not miss a regular council meeting, because I can schedule my trips around them, but there may be some special meetings that I may miss because I will be out of town," Saunders said.
Second, he was confident that enough qualified candidates were seeking election, so he didn't need to run again. That changed when Saylor withdrew.
"I love Whispering Pines," Saunders said. "I love being on the council, and I love the political process. I don't want Whispering Pines to not have good representation."
The Moore County Board of Elections called an emergency meeting via teleconference last week to accept Saylor's withdrawal. The board voted unanimously to reprint Whispering Pines' ballots, omitting Saylor's name.
Whispering Pines council members Molly Boggis and Zschoche attended the meeting.
Reprinting the ballot, according to elections board officials, will likely cost the village about $1,100.
The village had trouble fielding enough candidates for the council during the normal filing period this summer. The period was extended a week because only two candidates, Zschoche and Saylor, had filed.
At that time, incumbent Councilmen Frank Zamaroni and Saunders decided against seeking re-election.
Biggs, Osborne and Everly filed during the extended period.
All candidates, including write-ins, must abide by state campaign finance laws and file a statement of organization.
Saunders said he has done so. He has had campaign signs printed but said much of his solicitation will be done by word of mouth.
"It will be about getting out there (in the community) and talking to people," he said, "And if people want to write in my name, then I'll be happy to serve."
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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