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Candidate List Grows as Filing Deadline Nears

by Lisa Ellison
Guardian editor

GG

Update 7/16: The at-large race has a new contestant. Brand new. Angela Shackleford Williams, who appears to rent a home on Willow Run in municipal District 4 (Pitt County Online Parcel Information System), registered to vote in Pitt County today when she filed for the city-wide seat. According to an August 2014 press release identifying her as “a preacher, life coach, author and motivational speaker,” she is a Kinston native who founded the World for Christ Church with her husband Rudy. She returned to Kinston in 2014 after six years in Charleston, SC and began a call to action to get Kinstonians involved in their community: “If you want your community to be a better place to live, don’t just sit back and wait for it to happen. Get involved!”

Latoya Peele at the Pitt County Board of Elections said citizens must be registered for the district in which they file for at least 30 days before the election.

Update 7/15: Incumbent Rick Croskery filed Wednesday afternoon for district 5.

Original story 7/14: Erik Anderson, who opposed Walter B. Jones for the 3rd district U.S. Congress seat in 2012, and Louis Pate for the district 7 state senate seat in 2014, today filed for the at-large Greenville city council seat. Anderson will oppose incumbent Calvin Mercer, who won the seat in 2013 after serving three terms as the District 4 city councilor.

A resident of Greenville’s district 5, Anderson, like Mercer, is a registered Democrat (municipal elections are non-partisan). Anderson has voted in two of the five municipal elections dating to 2005. The filing makes Anderson the tenth candidate to enter Greenville’s municipal elections, set for November 3.

The ninth candidate to file, Rose Glover, also submitted her paperwork today. She is seeking a ninth term representing district 2, and was first elected to council in 1999.

Seven candidates filed last week, six of them in a flurry on Monday, the seventh on last Wednesday. Yesterday brought the eighth. Every current member of council except Richard Croskery, who is expected to run but has yet to file, are seeking to retain their seats. They include Mayor Allen Thomas, Kandie Smith (D1) and Glover (D2), all of whom are still unchallenged. Terry Boardman, who ran for the At-large seat last cycle, is challenging Rick Smiley in D4. McLean Godley will contest Marion Blackburn, the D3 incumbent.

One of two never-rans thus far is P.J. Connelly, seeking Croskery’s the D5 seat. According to NC Public Voter ID, Connelly is a registered Republican who voted in the last two municipal elections, and lives in the affluent Bedford neighborhood. His bio at the Connelly Properties website, which lists him as property manager, says he graduated from ECU in 2005 with a B.S. in business administration and a finance concentration. In 2006, he became a Licensed Real Estate Agent after training at JY Monk Real Estate School. Mayor Thomas appointed him to the city’s planning and zoning commission in May of this year.

Godley, the other newcomer to municipal elections, graduated from ECU in 2014 where he studied Political Science and Business Administration. His campaign site bio says he works as an insurance agent at AAA Carolinas, and serves as the chair of the city’s historic preservation commission. At the June 8 city council meeting, he spoke against lengthening council terms and encouraged council to instead consider term limits. “[Having term limits] prevents special interest groups from forming long-term relationships with the ruling class and also helps reduce corruption,” he told the meeting. “Term limits are good for the community and also good for democracy as a whole.” Godley is registered unaffiliated, and voted in the 2013 municipal election.

Stay tuned, we’ll continue to update the filings as they are made.

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