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Harper Peterson challenging Bill Saffo in Wilmington’s mayoral race

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 10:38 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Harper Peterson announced on Friday that he will run for mayor of Wilmington, 20 years after holding the office.

Peterson, who served one term as mayor from 2001-2003 and one term on city council from 1995-99, will file at 11 a.m. at the New Hanover County Board of Elections. He will face fellow democrat Bill Saffo, who is seeking a record eighth full term as the mayor.

“It almost goes without saying that the residents of Wilmington owe a debt of deepest gratitude to our Mayor Bill Saffo, who has provided strong leadership to our community for many years,” Peterson said in a news release. “His accomplishments are too many to list, and his legacy is one to be proud of. But the challenges facing Wilmington now and over the next decade demand a new level of energy, fresh ideas and action.”

In addition to his terms on city council and as mayor, Peterson represented New Hanover County in the state senate from 2018-2020. He defeated then-incumbent Michael Lee for the District 9 seat in 2018, then lost to Lee in 2020.

The filing period for the 2021 Municipal Elections ends Friday at noon.

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