Mix of old and new: Area towns gear up for elections

Published 12:10 am Thursday, October 31, 2019

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By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

Like most non-partisan municipal elections, 2019 represents another mix of the old and new, stay with the same, or move in another direction.

That will be the case with the three municipalities in the area with Clemmons having the only contested race for mayor while Lewisville’s Mike Horn, who has served three two-year terms, is running unopposed, and Bermuda Run will have a new mayor with Rick Cross also being the only candidate on the mayoral slate.

Then there’s numerous possibilities for council races in each of the three cities when voters go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Polls open that day at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.

In Clemmons, incumbent mayor John Wait is seeking re-election while Larry Kirby, the town’s longtime public works director who eventually became village manager and waged a late and unsuccessful bid as a write-in candidate for mayor two years ago, has his name on the official ballot this time after getting more than 1,000 votes in the previous election.

Wait tallied 1,492 votes (53.19 percent of the vote) to Kirby’s 1,028 votes (36.65 percent) while Paul David Reich, the other candidate on the ballot along with Wait in 2017 and also a political newcomer, was a distant third with 231 votes (8.24 percent).

For the council, incumbents Chris Wrights, who is completing a four-year term, and Pamela (PJ) Lofland, who is finishing a two-year term, are seeking re-election.

Challengers include Mary Cameron and Mike Rogers, who were voted out from the council two years ago as the wave of anti-median candidates on Lewisville-Clemmons Road swept the election, along with Allen Daniel and Matt Moger, who round out the list of six candidates who are running for three available positions — two for four-year terms and one for a two-year term.

Michelle Barson and Scott Binkley received four-year terms on the board as the two top vote-getters in the 2017 election, and Mike Combest, who was elected in 2015 to a four-year term, decided not to seek re-election.

In the 2017 election for council, Barson topped the slate with 1,642 votes, followed by Binkley (1,487), Lofland (1,376), Lanny Farmer (1,319), Rogers (1,310) and Cameron (1,250).

In Lewisville, the council will have a new look with four current members on the board — Robert Greene, Sandra Mock, Ed Smith and Jeff Zenger — not running and thereby honoring one of the town’s charter provisions of not exceeding four consecutive two-year terms.

Also, Marci Gallman chose not to run again, leaving Fred Franklin as only current member of the board who has filed for re-election.

Along with Franklin, eight others have filed to run for the council — Jeanne Foster, Melissa Hunt, Derek Roach, Ken Sadler, Brian Shumack, David Smitherman, Mike Sullivan and Jane Welch — seeking six available two-year positions.

In Bermuda Run, incumbent councilman John Guglielmi, who moved up to take over as mayor in September, is running again for the council along with challengers Curtis Capps and Heather Coleman with two seats available at this time.

Cross, who is changing spots from his position on the council to becoming mayor, and fellow current councilman Jerry West are not seeking re-election. The seats of council members Mike Ernst and Chris Fowler will expire in 2021.

Upon Cross being elected as mayor and his swearing in at the Dec. 10 council meeting, his seat on the board will then be available for the council to appoint an individual to fill that seat until the end of the term in 2021.