Saylor Withdraws From W.P. Race
Whispering Pines will be a candidate short for the Village Council's municipal election this November.
There were three candidates running for the three seats up for election, but Ron Saylor withdrew from the race Tuesday, citing family reasons. That leaves only Gregory Biggs and incumbent Mayor Bob Zschoche.
Saylor could not be reached for comment before The Pilot's deadline.
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.
Incumbent Councilmen Frank Zamaroni and Randy Saunders decided against seeking re-election.
But late Tuesday, Zschoche contacted The Pilot and said that Saunders had agreed to run an active campaign as a write-in candidate to retain his seat. The Pilot was unable to reach Saunders for comment.
During the extended filing period, three more candidates -- Biggs, Gerald Osborne, and Scott Everly -- joined the race. Osborne and Everly have since withdrawn.
The town of Robbins finds itself in a similar situation, with only two candidates vying for three open seats.
The Moore County Board of Elections called an emergency meeting via teleconference Tuesday afternoon to accept Saylor's withdrawal. The board voted unanimously to reprint Whispering Pines' ballots, omitting Saylor's name. Elections Director Glenda Clendenin recommended reprinting the ballots to avoid confusing voters. Ballots for the county's 11 municipalities were picked up yesterday.
If Saylor's name remained on the ballot, it could have created a complicated situation for the village. If he happened to win election to the council, the Board of Elections would have to declare that seat vacant. The new council would then be tasked with appointing a replacement after it takes office.
Under state law, ballots should be ready to go 30 days before the election -- Nov. 3 -- for absentee voting. Clendenin said. Sunday would be that deadline.
"It might put us one day or two days behind schedule," she said, "but this is an unforseen circumstance."
A proof of the new ballot must be printed, approved, coded and tested. But Clendenin was confident she and her staff could have the finalized ballots in hand by Tuesday afternoon.
There have been no requests for absentee ballots from Whispering Pines residents as of yet, so Clendenin didn't foresee any delays in getting ballots out to voters.
She mentioned that the village would incur an additional charge for the reprinting and that Whispering Pines officials were aware of that. It is estimated to cost about $1100.
Zschoche and Councilwoman Molly Boggis attended the meeting.
Clendenin said if anyone intends to launch a write-in campaign, she suggested he or she contact the Board of Elections immediately. All candidates, including write-ins, must abide by state campaign finance laws and file a statement of organization.
Contact John Krahnert III at 693-2473 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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