Filing closes;3 seats to bechallenged

Staff report

LAURINBURG — The close of filing at noon on Friday finalized the slate of candidates for this November’s municipal elections in Laurinburg, Wagram, Gibson, and East Laurinburg.

In total, there are three challengers and three newcomers to the arena of local politics.

In Laurinburg, incumbent mayor Tommy Parker and former mayor Matthew Block will contest that seat. Parker is the owner of Parker Furniture. Block, who was defeated by Parker in the 2011 election, is a cardiologist.

Curtis Leak, a retired teacher who represents District 1 on the Laurinburg City Council, will face a challenge from Laurinburg native and Restorehouse Ministries pastor Darlene Alston.

“I would like to see our city grow and expand and become that city of hope and faith, a beacon of light that draws people to come and be a part of what we are doing,” Alston said. “I would like to see our community all the more provide the essential infrastructure, services and programs that create a vibrant economic and cultural climate, enabling individuals, families, and businesses to prosper.”

District 2 representative Mary Jo Adams will run unopposed.

Wagram Mayor Milton Farmer, who has held that office since 1995, will be challenged by town commissioner Jackie Laviner, whose seat expires this year. A U.S. National Guard retiree, Farmer works at Ft. Bragg as a computer specialist, and Laviner is a Vietnam veteran who has served the North Scotland Fire Department for 46 years.

There are three candidates running for three open seats on the Wagram town commission: incumbents Paschal Stewart and Bernice Gorham and newcomer Kendrick Thomas. The top two vote-getters will serve four-year terms and the third will serve a two-year term.

In East Laurinburg and Gibson, all candidates will run unopposed.

East Laurinburg’s mayor Wayne Caulder, current commissioners David Cooper and Tyresa Haywood, and newcomer Kenny Morton will not face formal opposition. Commissioner Cleon Robinson did not file for re-election.

Gibson’s elections are set up to return a set of incumbents to the town’s board: Mayor Ronnie Hudson and town commissioners Stephen Hudson and Randy Pearson.

Staff report

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