Several Last-Minute Filings
-By Tom Embrey
A flurry of final-day filings means plenty of contested races for the Nov. 8 election, including contests for mayor in Pinehurst and Southern Pines.
In Southern Pines, council member Chris Smithson joined fellow council member David McNeill in seeking to replace Mayor Mike Haney, who declined to seek re-election. Attorney Marsh Smith entered the race for the Southern Pines Town Council.
In Pinehurst, council member Joan Thurman and former mayoral candidate John Marcum filed and joined another council member, Nancy Roy Fiorillo, in the race for mayor.
The winner will replace current Mayor Virginia "Ginsey" Fallon, who opted to run for the council. She was re-elected to the council in 2007 and then appointed mayor in March 2010 after the death of George Lane.
Thurman, who was elected to the council in 2007, opted Friday to run for mayor instead of joining an already crowed race for council.
"I thought I would run for council at first," she said, "but the more I thought about it, I thought the residents of Pinehurst needed a choice for mayor."
Marcum, who lost to Lane in 2007, filed less than an hour after Thurman and said her candidacy was unexpected.
"The fact that she filed makes it an even more interesting race," he said.
Fiorillo, who will retain her seat on the council if she loses her bid for mayor, was one of the first to enter the race when the filing period opened on June 1.
In Southern Pines, Haney defeated Smithson in the 2007 election. This time around, Smithson said the idea of running for mayor had been in the back of his mind for some time.
"I thought about it harder when he (Haney) decided not to run," he said.
Neither man would lose his council seat if not elected mayor because both have two years left on their current four-year terms.
Smith is the fourth -candidate to file for three council spots, joining incumbent Fred Walden, Jim Simeon and former council member David Woodruff.
"I filed for Town Council this morning, because Southern Pines has reached a critical phase in its existence," Smith said in a statement. "It can either proceed down the win/win path of sustainability, which brings prosperity and quality of life, or it can behave as though it must sacrifice quality of life for development."
Voters in Aberdeen, Carthage, Pinebluff and Robbins will also select a mayor.
In Aberdeen, incumbent Betsy Mofield will be -challenged by David Butler. Lee McGraw and Jimmy Chalflinch will seek to replace Tom Stewart as mayor of Carthage. Council member William Garner will vie with incumbent Earlene McLamb in Pinebluff.
And in Robbins, Lonnie English will oppose incumbent Theron Bell.
In Taylortown, incumbents Ulysses S. G. Barrett Jr., F. Ellis Ray Jr., Marvin B. Taylor and James L. Thompson, along with Emmet Alston Sr., Jesse Fuller Sr., James A. Lindsey, Jeffrey Moody, Mitchell A. Ratliff and Lori E. Staples, are seeking election to one of five council seats.
In other contested races, Fallon, John R. Cashion, Scott Lincicome, incumbent Mark Parson and John Strickland will contest one another for two seats on the Pinehurst Village Council. Four people - Charles Wayne Morris, and incumbents Dawn Lenz, Jamie Oakley and G.R. "Mack" Womble - filed for three open seats on the Cameron Board of Commissioners. Incumbent Skip Gebhardt and Ed Blackwell, Herb Conway and Jerry Osborne will seek one of two council seats in Whispering Pines.
Vass is the only Moore County municipality without enough candidates to fill vacancies.
Mayor Eddie Callahan will run unopposed, and incumbent Donald Bridgers is the only candidate to file for one of the three four-year vacancies for Vass commissioner.
After the filing period closed, the three members of the Moore County Board of Elections voted not to extend the filing period in Vass. That means at least two write-in candidates will be elected in November.
Another unresolved issue remains in Foxfire. Current council member Victor Koos will resign his council seat effective Monday.
The BOE has asked that the state Board of Elections declare a special filing period for candidates to fill his seat. That period, if granted, would likely be a week.
The state board will meet Monday afternoon to discuss the matter.
Tom Embrey is a senior writer with The Pilot. Contact him at tembrey@thepilot. com.
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