Filing for town, school seats to begin

By Tom Joyce -

DOBSON — Candidates for elected offices in three Surry County municipalities will soon be throwing their hats into the ring along with those vying for seats on the Mount Airy Board of Education.

The candidates’ filing period opens next Friday at noon and will close on Aug. 3 at noon.

Collectively, 12 different offices are up for grabs this year in Dobson, Pilot Mountain and Elkin, along with the city school board.

In Dobson, this includes the positions now held by longtime Mayor Ricky Draughn and town Commissioners Wayne Atkins and John Lawson.

Incumbents whose offices are at stake in Pilot Mountain include Mayor Dwight Atkins and Commissioners Gary Bell and Linda Needham.

Three commissioner seats are involved in the Elkin election, which are now held by Jeffrey Eidson, Cicely McCulloch and Terry Kennedy.

No municipal election will be conducted this year in Mount Airy, which observes an odd-year format.

Meanwhile, three seats on the Mount Airy Board of Education will be part of the upcoming filing process, those now occupied by Tim Matthews, Kyle Leonard and Ben Cooke.

Matthews is an at-large board member, with candidates for that office required to reside in the Mount Airy School District.

Cooke represents District B, which is limited to residents of the Mount Airy No. 2 or 3 precincts.

Leonard serves District A on the school board, with candidates for it required to live in the Mount Airy No. 1 precinct.

Leonard was appointed to his spot in May to replace Alisha Dancy-Brown, who moved outside her district. He said at the time that he does plan to file for election.

Candidates file for office at the Surry County Board of Elections in Dobson.

The filing fee for the Dobson, Elkin and school board offices is $5, and $6 for the Pilot Mountain positions.

Mayors poised to run

Draughn, the Dobson mayor, did not hesitate Friday in addressing his re-election decision.

“I’m planning to run again,” said the incumbent, who will be seeking his fifth four-year term as mayor of the Surry County seat.

Draughn mentioned key projects that are under way.

“We’re still working on an upgrade of our water plant, and also a couple of economic-development things are going on,” he said. “That’s the main things.”

Draughn was proud to say that officials in Dobson have been able to maintain a low property tax rate, which is now 38 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

Mayor Atkins in Pilot Mountain also is leaning toward filing to seek what would be his second term as mayor, on top of previous service as a town commissioner.

“At this time I do” plan to run again, he said Friday, leaving open the door for a possible change of heart as the filing period looms.

Similar to his counterpart in Dobson, Atkins cited several projects he wants to see fulfilled.

This includes a downtown-revitalization effort and a stream-restoration project that ultimately is to involve the construction of a greenway nearly a mile long.

Pilot Mountain also has received grant funding for its water system, which will mean either revamping the town’s water plant or establishing a connection to Mount Airy, and funding for improvements to the sewer operation.

“It’s been a long time in coming,” Atkins said of the two utility efforts.

By Tom Joyce

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.