By David Rogers. July 23, 2017. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Neither may emerge as the political equivalent of a shootout at the OK Corral, but November’s municipal elections for Mayor and Commissioner will both have interesting, “wildcard” potential after the candidates’ filing to run period closed at noon on Friday.
For the Mayor’s race, Charlie Sellers is again challenging longtime incumbent J.B. Lawrence.
Lawrence is running for his 11th straight term, having survived a challenge by Sellers in 2015 by exactly 100 votes (268-168). Lawrence is a former banker who retired from the financial services industry in 2014 to serve customers in the real estate industry as an agent with Blowing Rock Real Estate.
Sellers is best known locally for having overseen significant renovations and a rebirth in the popularity of The Blowing Rock attraction, but for more than 35 years he has also served as a consultant in the industrial water treatment industry, including the last 11 years with Cape Fear Consulting in Burlington, NC.
Three Board of Commissioner seats are up for re-election and all three incumbents have filed to run again. Doug Matheson, Sue Sweeting and Ray Pickett were the top three vote-getters in 2013, prevailing over three other candidates. They are being challenged this year by local realtor Virginia Powell, also an agent with Blowing Rock Real Estate.
Matheson, an employee of Appalachian State University’s Physical Services, is the longest-tenured Commissioner of the three incumbents, having been first elected in 2009. He is seeking his third term. Sweeting, a nurse practitioner employed by Appalachian State and Pickett, owner of Blowing Rock Inn, were elected in 2013, and are seeking their second terms, respectively.
As Election Day approaches, we’ll have more detailed profiles on each candidate, including interviews.