BEAUFORT — Filing for November’s municipal contests wrapped up Friday afternoon, setting the stage for races in a number of towns.

Several towns have a race for mayor, including Cape Carteret, where resident and planning board member Will Baker and current Commissioner Charlie Evans have filed for the top seat.

The current governing board has been embroiled in controversy in the past year over decisions to fire a police chief and amend the town charter to change the structure to a town manager form of government.

Current Mayor Dave Fowler, also the former chairman of the County Republican Party, did not file for office.

He said he’s been in local government, either appointed or elected, since 1994, and has been either a county commissioner, town commissioner or the town’s mayor for 16 of the 18 years he’s lived in Cape Carteret.

“It’s been a long and complex career in a fairly short time period,” he said Friday. “I just thought it was the right time to step down and not seek reelection.”

In addition to a race for mayor, four residents have filed for three seats on the commission.

In Pine Knoll Shores, incumbent Mayor Ken Jones faces a reelection race, as well.

Robert Cox and Margaret Young have both filed for the seat, alongside Mr. Jones.

The incumbent mayor has already announced a 2020 election bid for the state House seat held by Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret (Jones), who has said this will be her last term.

This week, Mr. Jones said he intends to run for both positions.

“There’s not much overlap,” he said, “so it shouldn’t be an issue. It’s not far to the capital (in terms of travel), and it would be good for Pine Knoll Shores to have someone in the House from here.”

Despite seats being up for two commissioners in Peletier, only incumbent Walter Krause filed for the position.

Mr. Krause was appointed to the board by the other commissioners earlier this year to fill out the unexpired term of longtime member Bill Norris, who resigned. The other open seat is held by David Bragg, who did not file. Mayor Dale Sowers will seek reelection.

A number of other towns will see contests for commissioner or council seats, however, including Atlantic Beach, where seven residents – including all sitting incumbents – filed for the town council.

This is the first year Atlantic Beach will hold November municipal elections after years of going to the polls in October. By holding elections alongside other municipalities, the town will see some cost reduction, as each town reimburses the county via the Board of Elections for local elections.

In Beaufort, five people have filed for three commission seats, while in Cedar Point, five residents have filed for two seats on the commission.  

In all, six Emerald Isle residents will make bids for three seats on the town’s governing board, while two seats open in Indian Beach have drawn three candidates.

In Morehead City, where three town council seats are available, five people have filed.

Newport will not have a race after only the three incumbents filed for reelection to the town council. Bogue will also have no race after three residents filed for the three open council seats and a current commissioner, Robert O’Chat, filed for mayor. Mayor Ricky Taylor is not seeking reelection.

Shawne Southard, interim deputy board of elections director, said Friday candidates have 10 days to finalize their paperwork if they have not already done so.

Campaign finance training for municipal candidates and their treasurers is set for 9 a.m. Friday and also available online through the State Board of Elections.

A full list of municipal candidates, as provided by the County Board of Elections, follows. Incumbents are denoted with an (i).

Atlantic Beach:

Mayor (1 seat):

A.B. Trace Cooper III (i)

Council (5 seats):

Joseph “Joey” Starling

Danny Navey (i)

Harry Archer (i)

Austin Waters (i)

Richard Warren Porter Jr. (i)

Rich Johnson (i)

M.J. Forrest


Mayor (1 seat):

Rett Newton (i)

Commission (3 seats):

Heather Poling

Sharon Harker (i)

John Hagle (i)

Marianna Hollinshed (i)

Kenneth W. Humphrey


Mayor (1 seat):

Robert O’Chat

Council (3 seats):

Albert Taylor

Herbert F. Page (i)

Richard W. Dougherty

Cape Carteret:

Mayor (1 seat):

Charlie Evans

Will Baker

Commission (3 seats):

Patricia Ruddiman

Jeff Waters

Jim Nalitz

Don Miller (i)

Cedar Point:

Mayor (1 seat):

Scott Hatsell (i)

Commission (2 seats):

Frankie Winberry (i)

Paul Garavaglia

Joshua Reilly

Neil A. Foose Jr.

Gary Alan Bray

Emerald Isle:

Commission (3 seats):

Steve Finch (i)

Jim Normile (i)

Floyd Messer Jr. (i)

Joe Flowers

Pat Lister

Jordan Madorsky

Indian Beach:

Commission (2 seats):

Victor Heinrich

Elizabeth “Dale” Williford (i)

Peter J. Wylie (i)

Morehead City:

Council (3 seats):

William “Bill” Taylor (i)

David Horton

Harvey Walker (i)

Diane Warrender (i)

Dennis M. Goodwin


Council (3 seats):

Chuck Shinn (i)

Danny Fornes (i)

David M. Heath (i)


Mayor (1 seat):

Dale Sowers (i)

Commission (2 seats):

Walter G. Krause (i)

Pine Knoll Shores

Mayor (1 seat):

Robert J. Cox

Ken Jones (i)

Margaret “Peggy” Young

Commission (2 seats):

Clark Edwards (i)

Ted Goetzinger (i)

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