Wednesday, 17 July 2019 21:01

New candidates file for Richmond County municipal races

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ROCKINGHAM — With less than two days left in the municipal election filing period, one Richmond County Mayor is facing two challengers.

Ronda Gore became the third candidate to file for Dobbins Heights mayor on Wednesday, according to the Richmond County Board of Elections.

The spot has been held for several years by Antonio Blue, who filed for re-election on opening day, July 5.

Blue is also facing a challenge from Laperria Andrews, who filed July 12.

Records show Andrews lists her residential address on Robert Broady Lane in Dobbins Heights, but her mailing address is on Northside Drive.

The mayor retained his seat in 2015 against three challengers, including former council member Gracie Jackson, with more than 60 percent of the vote.

Council member Mary Ann Gibson also filed for re-election on Wednesday, but no word yet from Barara Young. Young was elected and Gibson re-elected in the same 2015 race.

With two council seats up for grabs, two other newcomers have thrown their proverbial hats in the ring: Edward Tender and Revonna Magee. Tender filed July 12, Magee on July 15.

Down the road in Hamlet, Mayor Bill Bayless is so far safe from any challenges, but the race for City Council is another story.

There are three seats up for re-election in November, and one council member, Wendy Massagee, has already said she will not be running.

The other two seats are held by Maurice Stuart and Joe Robinson, both of whom were appointed this year to fill vacancies left by the resignations of David Lindsay and Johnathon Buie.

There are also three other people vying for one of those seats: Terry Moore, former Hamlet Police chief, who filed July 5; Oscar Sellers, who filed Monday; and Carl Andre Jones, who filed Tuesday.

Members of the Rockingham City Council are also being challenged.

John W. Carter filed Tuesday for a council seat.

Current members Bennett Deane and Anne Edwards filed July 8 and John Hutchinson filed July 5.

Mayor Steve Morris, who also filed July 8, is, so far, unopposed.

Hoffman’s Town Council and mayor are elected every two years and for the fourth consecutive election, candidates seem to be waiting until the last minute.

The only two to file as of Wednesday were Rory Jones and Riccardo (Ricky) Anderson, who both filed July 12.

That leaves Mayor Tommy Hart and council members Daniel Kelly, Cynthia Northcutt and John Taylor — and anyone else who plans to run — having until noon on Friday to get down to the elections office.

In both the 2013 and 2015 elections, there was at least one candidate who failed to file by the deadline, according to Elections Director Connie Kelly. In 2013, the final candidate was elected by write-in.

In cases where there are not enough people to file for all the available seats, state law allows the board of elections to extend the filing period by five days.

Two northern Richmond County towns will have a new mayor.

Lee Berry and Kenneth Broadway, mayors of Ellerbe and Norman, respectively, have both announced that they will not run again this year.

In Ellerbe, councilman Freddy Cloninger is the only one to sign up for the mayoral spot. The race in Norman, however, has two candidates.

Adrian Robson announced his intent to run several months back and filed the first day of the period. Council member Tonia Collins decided to make a run for it on July 9.

Collins’ seat will be up for grabs, as will those held by Stephen Cranford and Cynthia Ingram. Cranford filed July 10, Ingram has yet to file.

However, Cindi Murray filed for a Town Council seat on Monday.

Records show Murray and Robson have the same residential address on Richmond Street and Robson’s listed mailing address is on Northam Road in Rockingham.

As for the Ellerbe Town Council, Elsie Freeman and Jeremy McKenzie have both filed for re-election and Joe Grooms has also entered the race.


Filing fees are as follows:

  • Rockingham mayor/ city council - $10
  • Hamlet mayor - $30
  • Hamlet City Council - $10
  • Ellerbe mayor/town commissioner - $10
  • Norman, Dobbins Heights, Hoffman all seats - $5

Filing ends at noon Friday, July, 19.

The Dobbins Heights election will be Oct. 8 and all other municipal elections will be Nov. 5.