Fall municipal races take shape in Cape Carteret, Beaufort, beyond

The filing period for the 2021 municipal elections closed at noon Friday with at least one candidate for each open seat in Carteret County. (News-Times photo)

BEAUFORT — Motorists and residents can brace themselves for campaign signs this fall, with races set for mayoral and governing board seats in several of Carteret County’s 11 towns this November.

Candidate filing for the Tuesday, Nov. 2 municipal election closed without fanfare Friday afternoon, with at least one candidate for each open seat.

County Board of Elections Director Caitlin Sabadish said filing “went smoothly.” The period opened July 2.

Among the towns to see contested races on the ballot are Beaufort, Bogue, Cape Carteret, Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, Morehead City, Peletier and Pine Knoll Shores.

In Emerald Isle, where Mayor Eddie Barber announced Thursday he will not seek reelection, voters will have contested races for the mayoral post and three seats on the board of commissioners. Jason Holland and Doug Starcke have filed for the town’s top elected post, while newcomers Travis Speight, Jamie Vogel, Jeff Ward and Josh Sawyer are running against incumbents Candace Dooley and Mark Taylor for the commission.

“It was a tough decision,” Mayor Barber told the News-Times Thursday of his choice to opt out of this year’s race. “I agonized over and prayed over it.”

Beaufort will have a new mayor after the fall’s election as well, albeit for a different reason. Mayor Rett Newton launched a bit for U.S. Senate in April, making way for new leadership. Commissioner Sharon Harker filed for the post, as well as newcomer John Mattson. 

Two seats on the town’s commission are also up for grabs. Longtime commissioner Charles McDonald will run again for a seat, while residents Melvin Cooper, Bucky Oliver, Heather Poling, Bob Terwilliger and Jordan Sinclair seek a spot. Longtime incumbent Commissioner Ann Carter did not file. In recent months, she has indicated she would not seek reelection.

“I have had Town involvement for well over 20 years,” Ms. Carter said, in part, in a Sunday email to the News-Times. “There have been good times and not so good times, progress and even some regression, successes and failures, all part of the process of growth. …  I feel it is time for some new blood, fresh knowledge and ideas. It is how Beaufort will remain a great place  to live and economically secure.”

In the western Carteret County town of Bogue, three candidates have filed for two openings on the council, incumbents David Padgett and Charles Wilton, along with newcomer John Dale.

Cape Carteret voters will have their choice of six candidates for three seats on the board of commissioners. Incumbent Steven Martin is seeking reelection, while residents David Monroe, CharlieMorgan, John Ritchie, Cameron Watts and Sarah Wax have also filed. Sitting commissioners Mike King and Jim Nalitz did not file for reelection.

Mr. King, 78, said he has been involved in town government for about 20 years and was ready to move on.

"I just think it's time for someone younger than me, with a fresh perspective," he said. "We have gotten a lot done — we've come a long way with our zoning ordinance and getting some new development — but there are other things that still need to get done. .... It should be an interesting election."

Mr. Nalitz did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

Out on Bogue Banks, four Indian Beach residents are seeking three openings on the town commission. They include Kelly Arnett, Randall Bentley, Michael Luther and Lilla Wieseler.

Morehead City incumbents George Ballou and Kerri McCann filed for another term, along with former Councilman Harvey Walker, who is again seeking a position on the panel. Two seats will be on the ballot, and longtime Mayor Jerry Jones will run uncontested.

In Peletier, incumbents Dan Taylor, Alice Dunn and Larry Rhue will race against newcomers Steven Overby and Tim Quinn for three seats on the governing commission. 

Finally, Pine Knoll Shores voters have a selection of four candidates  — incumbents Larry Corsello, Alicia Durham and Bill Knecht and resident Robert Cox —  for three board seats.

With filing complete, all candidates or designated treasurers are required to take mandatory treasurer training.


Following is the list of candidates in the 2021 municipal election. The symbol (i) denotes an incumbent candidate.

Atlantic Beach Mayor, one seat:

  • A.B. (Trace) Cooper III (i)


Atlantic Beach Town Council, five seats:

  • Danny Navey (i)
  • Joseph (Joey) Starling
  • Austin Waters (i)
  • Joey Dean
  • Harry Archer (i)


Beaufort Mayor, one seat:

  • Sharon Harker
  • John Mattson


Beaufort Board of Commissioners, two seats:  

  • Melvin Cooper
  • Charles Steven McDonald (i)
  • Bucky Oliver
  • Heather Poling
  • Bob Terwilliger
  • Jordan Sinclair


Bogue Mayor, one seat:

  • Robert O’Chat (i)


Bogue Town Council, two seats:

  • Charles A Wilton (i)
  • David Padgett (i)
  • John Dale


Cape Carteret Board of Commissioners, three seats:

  • Steve Martin (i)
  • David Monroe
  • Charlie Morgan
  • John P. Ritchie
  • Cameron Watts
  • Sarah Wax


Cedar Point Board of Commissioners, three seats:

  • John Nash (i)
  • Joshua Reilly
  • Pamela Castellano (i)


Emerald Isle Mayor, one seat:

  • Jason Holland
  • Doug Starcke


Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners, three seats:

  • Candace Dooley (i)
  • Travis Speight
  • Mark Taylor (i)
  • Jamie L. Vogel
  • Jeff Ward
  • Josh Sawyer


Indian Beach Board of Commissioners, three seats:

  • Randall T. Bentley
  • Kelly Arnett
  • Michael Luther
  • Lilla A. Wieseler


Morehead City Mayor, one seat:

  • Jerry Jones (i)


Morehead City Council, two seats:

  • George W. Ballou (i)
  • Kerri McCann (i)
  • Harvey Walker


Newport Mayor, one seat:

  • Dennis R. Barber (i)


Newport Town Council, two seats

  • Rhonda Shinn (i)
  • Mark. D. Eadie (i)


Peletier Board of Commissioners, three seats:

  • Tim Quinn
  • Dan Taylor (i)
  • Steven Overby
  • Alice Holmes Dunn (i)
  • Larry Rhue (i)


Pine Knoll Shores Mayor, one seat:

  • John R. Brodman (i)


Pine Knoll Shores Board of Commissioners, three seats:

  • Larry Corsello (i)
  • Alicia Kramer Durham (i)
  • Bill Knecht (i)
  • Robert Cox


Reporter Brad Rich contributed to this article.


Editor's note: This article was updated at 11:37 a.m. Monday, July 19, 2021, to reflect that there are three seats open this election cycle on the Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners, not two as previously reported by the BOE. 


Contact Jackie Starkey at 252-726-7081, ext. 225; email jackie@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @jackieccnt.

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