Filing period for city election opens Monday

DOBSON — Though there’s much talk nowadays about the 2016 presidential race, a noteworthy event locally is scheduled before then: the 2015 municipal election in Mount Airy.

The filing period for this year’s city election, which affects three of the five members of the city board of commissioners and the mayor’s position, begins Monday at 8:15 a.m.

“We’ll be ready, open for business on Monday,” said Angie Harrison, deputy director of the Surry County Board of Elections, where office seekers must file. The elections office is on the lower level of the new county courthouse in Dobson.

The filing period will end at noon on July 17.

Those up for re-election include Dean Brown, the longest-serving city councilman, who was first elected in 2007; Shirley Brinkley, who is completing her first four-term; and Jim Armbrister, who has been in office since being appointed to replace the late Scott Graham after Graham died in January 2014.

Another, unscheduled situation that transpired earlier this year also will require an election to fill the unexpired term of Mayor Deborah Cochran, who resigned effective March 31. That term runs until December 2017.

Since March 31, Commissioner Steve Yokeley has served as mayor pro tem. Yokeley recently disclosed that he will run for mayor. His present South Ward commissioner seat does not come up for re-election again until 2017.

Meanwhile, Brown, who represents the North Ward; Brinkley, the other South Ward commissioner; and Armbrister, the board’s at-large commissioner, also have said they would file for re-election to their posts this year.

The at-large seat is open to residents citywide, while anyone who files to run against Brown or Brinkley must live in the wards each represent.

Harrison, the board of elections official, said the filing process that requires filling out paperwork takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

An additional procedure is mandated for any candidate planning to exceed a campaign spending threshold of $1,000. Harrison said all four city incumbents have indicated that they do not plan to exceed that level, which is customary for municipal elections.

The filing fee for all four offices involved is $10.

Harrison said any candidates wishing to get a head start can call the elections office at 401-8225 and the appropriate documents will be emailed to them.

If more than two candidates file for a seat, a primary will be required on Oct. 6, with the general city election set for Nov. 3.

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

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