Youngsville loses veterans as candidate filing period ends.
YOUNGSVILLE — Youngsville has seen its share of changes in the past few years, however, the biggest change in town currently can be seen at the Franklin County Board of Elections.
Longtime commissioners Leelan Woodlief, Marvin Roberts and Mayor Samuel Hardwick have all bowed out.
“I feel like the town is in a good place right now, ready to keep moving forward. I can’t give the town the attention it needs as a mayor with my current employment responsibilities which has me on the road more.” Hardwick said in a phone interview from Philadelphia.
The two candidates running for mayor are Deborah Palmer and Fonzie A. Flowers.
Time for change
Palmer and Flowers both said they recognize the need for change in Youngsville in order to keep the town moving forward with growth while still keeping the small town feel residents embrace.
Palmer, a Washington, D.C. transplant, has lived here since 2006 with her family as a strong supporter of local government in Youngsville. Palmer said in a phone interview Tuesday, “The time of the good ol’ boy nature of running things is dead. It is time for change and I want to throw my hat in and help the change take place.”
Flowers, a Henderson native, has lived in Franklin County for 10 years with his family. As president of Youngsville Area Kids Soccer, and basketball and baseball coach, Flowers has been able to interact with the community firsthand.
“I have always volunteered in the community and look forward to the opportunity to serve. I want to improve Youngsville and keep the town headed in the right direction,” Flowers said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
Longtime commissioner Marvin Roberts has decided not to run again for election. The one-time mayor of Youngsville has been off-and-on as a commissioner for 50 years.
“I am 87 years old and it is time to let someone else make decisions. I am proud Youngsville is in a good position for the future,” Roberts said.
Another longtime commissioner absent from the ballot is Woodlief. Due to illness will not be able to uphold his responsibilities as a commissioner.
And the candidates are …
Cat Redd, the only incumbent, is joined by a whole cast of new candidates who are eager to serve the town.
Redd, in her fourth year and second term, would be left as one of the more veteran members of the board if re-elected.
“Youngsville is is in the middle of forward momentum. Growth and a revitalization of our downtown is exciting. I look forward to working with new commissioners,” Redd said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
Terry D. Hedlund has lived in Youngsville for three and a half years with his wife and mother-in-law.
“I want to serve the community and I am excited about the revival this town is going through,” Hedlund said in a telephone interview.
George Blaine Dillard, a native of Oxford, is a local business owner of a barber shop in downtown Youngsville. Dillard is a single father of a 14-year-old. Living in or around Franklin County most of his life Dillard says, “I want to give back to the community that has supported me all these years. I want Youngsville to move forward and grow, but also protect our small town.”
Thomas Dement calls Youngsville his hometown with five generations of kin living in the area. Dement is also a the business owner of Woodlief Supply Company in the downtown area.
“I want to get people back together and see community spirit,” Dement said in a telephone interview.
Two other candidates on the list are Larry Wiggins and Scott Anderson. They could not be reached by press time.
Turnout for Youngsville elections is often low; sometimes races are decided by a few votes. To register to vote contact the Franklin Board of Elections at 919-496-3898.
Franklin County races
Bunn mayor: Marsh W. Strawbridge.
Bunn commissioner: Charlene Clay, Sherry Mercer, Margie M. Winstead.
Centerville mayor: Margaret Nelms.
Centerville town council: Rex Foster, Amy Denton, Henry Nelms.
Franklinton commissioner: John Allers, Johnny Wayne Mitchell, Art Wright, Al Barbour.
Louisburg mayor: Karl T. Pernell.
Louisburg town council: Boyd Sturgis, Joe W. Shearon, Pat Walker, Tom Clancy.
Elections for Franklin County municipal races are Nov. 5.
— Jonathan McNamara
Longtime Wake Forest resident Mike Cole was the last to file for town commissioner Friday, bringing the field to four candidates for two seats.
Cole lives at 107 Pine Ridge Court in Pineview Estates with his wife, Emily, and children, Anderson and Taylor Ann. He works at Brooks Machine and Design in Zebulon.
Commissioner Frank Drake’s bowing out of the race is part of what inspired Cole to step up.
“From what I’ve seen I’ve been really impressed with Frank Drake. He asks a lot of questions and thats something I’d like to see continued,” said Cole.
His other reason was to be a part of the solution to problems that crop up. He’s concerned about traffic — and he’s not alone; it’s often cited on residential surveys as a serious issue. He said he’d like to see a master traffic plan that residents can reference.
“I’ve grown up in Wake Forest. I’ve seen it grow,” he said. “I’m tired of complaining. I’m going to try fixing instead.”
As previously reported, other candidates for Wake Forest commissioner are Jim Thompson, Shinica Thomas and incumbent Margaret Stinnett.
Incumbent Mayor Vivian Jones is facing a challenge this year by Bill Randall.
Election Day is Nov. 5.
— David Leone
Three seats on the town board are up for election this November and all three incumbents are running again — unopposed.
Ronnie Currin, Frank Hodge and Betty Whitaker have each filed to keep their seats.
Whitaker, a Democrat, has served on the board since 1989 as has Hodge. Hodge was appointed in August of ’89 to fill Joe Winfree’s unexpired term when he was appointed mayor.
Currin has served since 2002.
Both Republicans, Hodge and Currin initially ran for office after their properties were involuntarily annexed into town. They’ve served on the board ever since.
Voting for the board of commissioners for Rolesville will take place Nov. 5.
Zebulon’s Tom Benton, who was appointed to the Wake County Board of Education’s District 1 seat when Chris Malone was elected to the state House of Representatives last year, has filed for re-election.
Facing Benton is Don McIntyre, a Republican from Wake Forest.
The term of office for school board is three years. The Wake School Board election is Oct. 8.
The mayor’s position, two at-large city council seats and two town council district seats in The Wake Forest Weekly’s coverage area are up for grabs this October. The terms of office for each is two years.
Nancy McFarlane has filed for re-election as Raleigh’s mayor and has been joined by Venita Peyton and Robert Weltzin.
McFarlane is registered as an independent, but received the Democratic party’s endorsement for the 2011 election in which she succeeded outgoing mayor Charles Meeker. She is seeking her second term.
Peyton, a real estate broker, is a registered Republican. Although running for mayor once before in 1997, she most recently ran unsuccessfully for the District 4 Wake Board of Education seat, losing to Keith Sutton.
Weltzin is a chiropractic doctor at Weltzin Chiropractic as well as an Army Reserve military police officer. He is also a registered Republican.
The two city council at-large seats are being fought over by four candidates. Mary-Ann Baldwin, Jason Spriggs, Russ Stephenson and Rob Williams will each vie for a spot.
Stephenson and Baldwin are the incumbents and are both registered Democrats.
Spriggs and Williams are Republicans.
The District A seat will be contested by two candidates. Wayne Maiorano, a Republican, is challenging incumbent Randy Stagner, who is registered as unaffiliated.
Republican District B incumbent John Odom has two candidates trying to unseat him. Democrats Sam Smith and Brian Fitzsimmons have both filed to run.
Filing ended Friday. The electoral contest for mayor and Raleigh city council is Oct. 8.