Elections are getting competitive in Whiteville

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) - Election day is fast approaching and some cities have a lot of unopposed races, but that's not the case in Whiteville.  Seven people are competing for just two council seats.

Voters say it could turn out to be an exciting race, and they are glad to know people are concerned about the community.

"There are a lot of people interested in what's going on in local government," said Whiteville voter Ronald Hill.

Until recently, Whiteville City Council Member Terri Mann was running unopposed for mayor.  Now, fellow council member Howard Jones, who was once city manager, is running for mayor as a write-in candidate.

"I think it's healthy for the system to have some competition," said Mann.  "You have to clarify yourself on issues."

Mann believes so many people are running for council because they want change.

"I think there's probably some backlash of what happen with the firing of the former city manager," said Mann.

Former city manager Josh Ray was fired earlier this month, but has decided to run for council.  Now he's a finalist for two city manager jobs in other cities.

"I Iike to keep my options open, personally, professionally, and community wise," said Ray, who added he will evaluate his options after election night.

Poll workers in Whiteville say despite having a high number of candidates running, for city council, they're only averaging around 20 voters during early voting.

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