WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Candidates began filing for Wilmington mayor or city council Monday.
On a Monday in July, the New Hanover County Government Complex looked more like the first Tuesday in November - political supporters were on hand with stickers and signs backing candidates running for office.
Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo was one of several people who signed up on the first day of the filing period.
"I want people to know I'm eager for the job," said Saffo. "I've worked hard at the job and want people to know I want it. And want to work hard for the community."
Saffo told the crowd he will continue to fight for higher film incentives and improvements to downtown Wilmington. Now he faces the challenge of convincing voters to give him a third term.
"You have to constantly explain to people what you're going to be doing," said Saffo. "Get that message out there going door to door."
Wilmington City Council Member Margaret Haynes was appointed to her seat by council members, now she has to campaign for citizens votes.
"It gives me an advantage of knowing what the job is and knowing how challenging the job is," said Haynes.
While some candidates say it is an advantage to file for office early, other said it just comes down to getting out their message.
"I've never been one to pick an easy job," said Paul Knight. "I've always taken to the jobs people didn't want, and running against Mayor Saffo is not going to be an easy job."
Most of the candidates who are going to file this week said they won't officially start campaigning until August or September.
The filing period for mayor ends July 17 and the city election is November 3.
For more information about the 2009 elections, click here.