Twenty-five candidates file for Winston-Salem City Council; Joines appears unopposed

by Keith Barber

Three more candidates filed to run for Winston-Salem City Council before the July 17 deadline, bringing the total number of hopefuls to 25 for the upcoming municipal election. It appears Mayor Allen Joines, a Democrat, will run unopposed in his bid for a third term as mayor. Joines also ran unopposed in 2005. Robert Clark, a Republican who represents the city’s West Ward, is also unopposed at this time. There is a slim chance, however, that Joines and Clark could face opponents in the Nov. 4 general election. State election law stipulates that unaffiliated candidates filing in cities with partisan municipal elections like Winston-Salem have until 12 noon on Friday, Sept. 18 to submit a petition to the local board of elections to get on the ballot.

The petition must contain the names of 4 percent of registered voters citywide for mayoral candidates or 4 percent of all registered voters in a given ward for city council seats, said Johnnie McLean, deputy director of the NC State Board of Elections. There is also the possibility of write-in candidates, McLean said. Sam Davis was the last city council candidate to file with the Forsyth County Board of Elections before the July 17 deadline. Davis entered the race for the Democratic nomination to represent the city’s Northeast Ward. He will face Mayor Pro Tem Vivian H. Burke, who has represented the ward for the past 32 years. Claudia L. Shivers was the only candidate to file for the Republican nomination to represent the Northeast Ward. East Ward Democratic incumbent Joycelyn Johnson will face three challengers in the Sept.15 primary. Derwin Lamar Montgomery, Harold Lee Hairston and Donald L. Scales have all filed their candidacy papers. Johnson is seeking her fifth term in office.

In other races, the contest for the Democratic nomination in the Southeast Ward is shaping up to be a tight race. Evelyn Terry, the Democratic incumbent, faces James Taylor, a 28-year-old juvenile justice counselor, and Jimmie Boyd, a retired police supervisor and president of the Winston- Salem/Forsyth County chapter of the NAACP, in the Democratic primary. Republican Chuck Woolard will carry the banner for his party in the Nov. 4 election. Republicans Matthew Shelton, Peter Sorenson and Jim Painter entered the race for their party’s nomination to represent the Northwest Ward last week. Incumbent Wanda Merschel, a Democrat, will seek a fourth term on the council. Donald T. Shaw filed his candidacy for the Republican nomination to represent the city’s Southwest Ward. Shaw will have at least one opponent in the municipal primary — attorney Ted Shipley. Dan Besse, the Democratic incumbent, seeks a third term in office. In the city’s South Ward, Democratic challenger Samuel Wesley Hudson will square off against incumbent Molly Leight in the Sept. 15 primary. The retirement of long-time city council member Nelson Malloy has opened up the race for the North Ward seat. Phillip Carter, Wayne Patterson and Denise “DD” Adams have filed to run in the Democratic primary. A political veteran, Adams ran for NC House in 1990 but lost to Warren P. Odom by a little more than 100 votes. Adams currently serves as the Democratic Party’s first vice-chair for the 5th Congressional District. John Hopkins, who formerly served as president of Forsyth Citizens Against Forced Annexation, is the only Republican to file for the North Ward seat vacated by Malloy’s retirement.