Early voting and the importance of local elections

By: 
Lindsay Robins
Staff Writer

Yard signs, parade floats, and social media posts have ensured the names of local candidates are in the public eye as they gear up for the 2019 Municipal and City School Elections. Forty candidates have filed to run for various seats in Catawba, Claremont, Conover, Maiden, and Newton.

While national elections take the spotlight, municipal elections have a bigger impact on residents' daily lives. Mayoral and council positions set policy, create and facilitate budgets, and make decisions on the enforcement of public safety. "Local elections are important because these are the people that make decisions that directly affect how money is spent and how things are run where you live", explained Amanda Duncan, Catawba County Board of Elections Director. "Usually our turnout is low for municipal elections but we'd like to see a big turnout."

Early voting for Catawba, Claremont, Conover, Maiden, and Newton will begin October 16, 2019, and run through November 1, 2019. Early voting for these municipalities will be held at the Newton branch of the Catawba County Library System. Election day falls on November 5, 2019.

The Town of Catawba will be placing votes for mayor and town council. Incumbent Donald Robinson is running unopposed for the office of mayor. Donald Allen, Colleen Anderson, Amanda Drum Stewart, and Carroll Yount are on the ballot for two seats on town council.

The City of Claremont will be placing votes for city council. Lee Miller, David B. Morrow, David J. Pruitt, Chris Reese, and M. Dale Sherrill are on the ballot for three council seats.

The City of Conover will be placing votes for city council. Don A. Beal, Bruce R. Eckard, Timothy Garrison, Kyle J. Hayman, Brenda J. Powell, and Tim Settlemyre are on the ballot for three council seats.

The Town of Maiden will be placing votes for mayor and town council. Max Bumgarner, Jr. and Zane R Hudson are on the ballot for the office of mayor. Richard Fox, Danny Lee Kiser, Beth Poovey Rudisill, Bob Sigmon, and Ronnie K. Williams are on the ballot for three council seats.

The City of Newton will be placing votes for mayor and city council. Eddie Haupt, Al Hoover, Jeremy Petty, and John M. Stiver are on the ballot for the office of mayor. Jody M. Dixon, Laddie H. Ford Jr., Jerry T. Hodge, J. Mike Honeycutt, Roy Johnson, Mary Bess Lawing, Yerby Ray, Rick Settlemyre, Addie Shuford, and Beverly Danner Stull are on the ballot for three council seats.

Newton-Conover City Schools will also have three school board positions on the ballot, one for Newton and two for Conover. Jim Stockner is on the ballot for the Newton seat. Jeanne C. Jarrett and Mark W. Pennell are on the ballot for the Conover seats.

While municipal elections trend on lower turnout, Duncan and her staff at the Board of Elections office are gearing up themselves. "We prepare for 100% turnout", shared Duncan. "Our staff will be ready and willing to help. We love a big turnout."

The last date to officially withdraw candidacy from this election cycle was July 16, 2019. Any candidate that decides not to run after that date will still appear on the ballot.

For more information, please visit http://www.catawbacountync.gov/county-services/elections

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