ASHE COUNTY — Candidate filing for 2019 municipal elections begins at noon Friday, July 5, and ends at noon Friday, July 19, according to the Ashe County Board of Elections.
Municipal elections 2019 will decide the mayor and two board of aldermen seats in the towns of Jefferson and West Jefferson, as well as the mayor and three alderman seats in Lansing, according to Ashe BOE Deputy Director Devon Houck. When elected, each seat will serve a four-year term, except one seat on the Lansing Board of Aldermen, which will be a two-year term, Houck said.
Because municipal elections are nonpartisan, there is no need for a primary election, and each of the towns decided against offering absentee by mail and early voting services as a cost-saving measure, Houck said.
After the filing period is over, Municipal Election Day is 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5. Residents of Jefferson can vote at the Jefferson Fire Department, while citizens of Lansing will vote at Lansing Fire Department and the West Jefferson polling place is at the Ashe County Arts Council.
As follows is a breakdown of the positions open for election in Ashe County’s 2019 municipal elections:
Three seats are open on Jefferson town council during the upcoming election.
Incumbent Mayor Bluferd Eldreth said he is currently undecided as to whether he will run for re-election.
Alderman Charles Caudill’s seat will also be available in November, and he did not provide a statement regarding his intention to run for re-election.
The most recent appointment to the Jefferson Board of Alderman, Cathy Ballou, did not say whether she will run for re-election. Cathy Ballou was appointed by the board Feb. 26, after former Alderman Charles R. Ballou resigned, recommending his sister fill the seat until the end of the term.
Four seats on the Lansing town board are up for election in 2019. First, the position of mayor is open for candidates, with incumbent Mayor Dylan Lightfoot, who has served since January 2016, planning to run for one more term, he said.
On the Lansing Board of Aldermen, Jim Blevins has served since January 2016, and said he plans to run to retain his seat for another four-year term.
Alderwoman Cheyenne Blevins, who was appointed by the town board Aug. 14, 2018 to fill a seat vacated mid-term by John Blevins, said she is running for election to the same seat, which will serve a two-year unexpired term.
Alderman Tom Richardson was appointed by the town board June 11 to fill a seat Michele Slaton vacated during the last months of her term. Richardson was not available to comment on his intent to run for the seat, which will serve a four-year term.
The Town of West Jefferson will have three positions up for grabs in the election — two seats on the Board of Aldermen, and the position of mayor.
One alderman seat currently belongs to Jerry McMillan, who has been on the board since 2015. As of presstime, McMillan said he is unsure if he will run for re-election, citing his health as a concern.
The other position on the Board of Aldermen is held by Rusty Barr, who was sworn in on Monday, July 1. Barr filled the seat left vacant by Brett Summey, who died May 16. Barr, who lost the previous election to Summey by a coin flip, said he intends to run to keep his new seat.
Finally, the West Jefferson mayor position is up for election. Dale Baldwin has been mayor of West Jefferson since 2011, previously serving in the role from 1997 to 2003. Baldwin said he has yet to make a decision on his future, saying he probably will not decide until the window for filing opens.