Two days down, eight to go: Candidate filing for the 2009 election opened Monday, with candidates seeking the top spot as Chapel Hill mayor and duels brewing in Durham Ward 2 and on the Wake County school board.
In Raleigh Council District D, incumbent Thomas Crowder is expected to run against architect Ted Van Dyk, who had not filed as of press time, but has announced he will soon.
The board of education candidate list is packed. (See Wake school board race takes shape, June 27.) Deborah Vair and Rita Rakestraw will spar in District 1, while John Tedesco, Horace Tart and Cathy Truitt go head-to-head-to-head in District 2. Karen Simon has filed in District 7 and Ray Martin has staked his claim for District 9.
In Cary, incumbent Julie Robison is seeking re-election to an at-large seat, with Cynthia Sinkez and incumbent Jack Smith filing for District A and C, respectively.
So much for rumors that Mike Woodard would run for Durham mayor: The councilman is seeking a second term in Ward 3, which includes parts of north and west Durham. Meanwhile, in southern Durham, Ward 2 voters can choose, so far, between incumbent Howard Clement II I, whos running for a seventh term, and Durham County Libertarian Party Chairman Matt Drew.Early voting for these races (Durham's is a primary) begins Sept. 17. Election Day is Oct. 6, with runoffs, if necessary, on Nov. 3. The Indys endorsements issue will be published Sept. 16.
This is the first year for voter-owned election funding in Chapel Hill, which adds to the intrigue, since Mayor Kevin Foy is not running for re-election. Under the pilot program, mayoral and town candidates can qualify for public funds maximum $9,000 for mayoral candidates, $3,000 for council candidates.
To be eligible, mayoral candidates must declare they havent collected more than $1,500 in seed money since Jan. 1; that limit for participating town council candidates is $750. Subsequently, mayoral and council hopefuls can raise and spend $4,500 and $2,250 in qualified contributions, respectively. Qualified contributions are those made by Chapel Hill residents in amounts from $5-$20. Once those requirements are met, the candidates qualify for public funds.
Vying for the top job is Town Councilman Mark Kleinschmidt, who works as an attorney at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, is expected to run, although he has yet to file. First-term Town Councilman Matt Czajkowski, who had not attended a town council meeting before he was elected in 2007, hasnt yet filed but will reportedly try to out-conservative Augustus Cho, a bigwig in Orange Countys small GOP circles who lost in the Congressional District 4 Republican primary to Carys B.J. Lawson.
A new group, Citizens For Responsible Government, composed of some top developers and longtime players in Chapel HillOmar Zinn, Phil Post and Bruce Ballentinehas stated it expects to play a significant role in Chapel Hills elections.
In Carrboro, incumbents Jacquie Gist and Randee Haven-ODonnell are running for another term on the Board of Aldermen, while activist Sammy Slade is looking to occupy the seat of John Herrera, who is not running for re-election. All these candidates have pledged to raise no more than $3,000.
Just one person has filed so far for the three vacant seats on Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board:Michelle Brownstein. She has taken the $3,000 pledge.
Tom Stevens is running for his third term as Hillsborough mayor. He has pledged to accept the $3,000 limit on campaign contributions. Likewise, Mike Gering plans to run his campaign on the cheap, less than $3,000, as he for runs for re-election to Hillsboroughs town commission.
Durham, Orange and Chatham counties hold early voting Oct. 15-31, with Election Day Nov. 3. The Indy will endorse in those races, and any Wake County runoffs, in the Oct. 14 edition.
Look for daily updates as candidates continue to file.