WILMINGTON -- Candidates for local office made their intentions known Friday on the first day to file for the October election.
Mayor Bill Saffo was at the Board of Elections office with dozens of supporters in tow several minutes before the filing period began. As soon as the clock struck noon, he made his re-election campaign official.
After signing the appropriate papers, Saffo gave a short speech to the assembled crowd about why he wants to continue as mayor.
Council members Laura Padgett and Pat Delair have made it clear they will file for re-election, but they were not at the Board of Elections office Friday.
Ronald Sparks is a new face entering the city council race. Sparks is an engineer and Brunswick Community College instructor. He filed Friday for one of the Wilmington city council seats.
The Board of Elections director says it's a busy first day of filing, which begins an interesting two weeks.
"It tends to pick up the last day or week. We'll have people who essentially hang out at the door waiting to see who comes in or doesn't come in. They'll base their decision to file on who's coming in or not coming in," said Bonnie Williams.
The filing period is shorter than usual this year. It normally ends after four weeks, but candidates just have two weeks, until noon on Friday, July 20 to file.
Wrightsville Beach Mayor Bob O'Quinn made the announcement Thursday he would not seek re-election. Alderman Steve Whalen filed as a candidate for the beach town mayor's spot.
Lethia Hankins is the one Wilmington City Council member who has not made her intentions known. Hankins is a retired school teacher who has only served one term on council. She was elected in 2003.
Hankins will hold a press conference Wednesday, July 11. She's expected to announce her plans then.