Challenger enters race for Hamlet City Council

By: Staff report

ROCKINGHAM — One municipal race in Richmond County will be a little more competitive.

Stephanie Dixon, the only candidate to file on Tuesday, threw her hat in the ring for a seat on the Hamlet City Council, according to Elections Director Connie Kelly.

Dixon will be vying for one of two seats, currently held by Eddie Martin and Jesse McQueen. Both Martin and McQueen filed when the period began on Friday.

Hamlet Mayor Bill Bayless is also up for re-election, but had no challengers as of Tuesday. Bayless also filed on Friday.

Dixon isn’t the only non-incumbent to file for November’s election.

Fred Cloninger filed Friday for a seat on the Ellerbe Town Council. There are three council seats up for grabs in this election — a vacant seat and those held by Jean Fletcher and Archie Robinson — as well as the mayoral seat, held by Lee Berry. No one else has filed for those races.

With Hoffman’s election schedule, all council seats and that of mayor are up for grabs every two years.

So far, there aren’t any takers — not even the incumbents: council members Ricarrdo Anderson, Althea Sloan Cobb, Daniel Kelly, Cynthia Northcutt and Rory Kevin Jones and Mayor Tommy Hart.

The past two elections, there has been at least one Hoffman to candidate not make the filing deadline. In 2015, it was Cobb. Two years before that, the elections director said the final member was decided by write-in.

In Rockingham’s race, there are three council seats — one two-year and two four-year — on the ballot.

Council members Gene Willard, Anne Edwards and Denise Sullivan filed on Friday, Mayor Steve Morris filed on Monday. So far, there are no challengers in this race.

There are also no challengers in the race for Dobbins Heights council. Council members Angeline David and Tyre Holloway both filed Friday afternoon.

The costs to file are as follows:

• Rockingham mayor and city council — $10

• Hamlet mayor — $30

• Hamlet city council — $10

• Ellerbe mayor and town council — $10

• Hoffman mayor and town council — $5

• Dobbins Heights town council — $5

Potential candidates, whether incumbent or challenger, have until noon on July 21 to file.

Staff report