Sandhills Sentinel is doing an overview of all the mayoral races in Moore County for the upcoming election. Today, we are looking at the race for mayor in Carthage.

As you may remember, incumbent Lee McGraw was disqualified for living outside the city limits of Carthage. There are three candidates hoping to become the next mayor: Jimmy Chalflinch, Kevin Lewis and George H.Wilson, Jr.

All three candidates were provided a list of questions that they responded to in either written form or via a phone interview. Their responses may have been lightly edited for brevity, clarity, and grammatical corrections. The candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Jimmy Chalflinch

Do you have family members, and how do they feel about you running for office?

Three sisters and two brothers. All very excited and proud of me.

How long have you lived in the area?

All my life.

Have you served in any elected or volunteer roles?

I currently serve on the town council, and I also served on the county parks and recreation board for many years.

What is your job/occupation?

Retired.

What are you most proud of in your town/village?

Proud of our little town. We have a great group of people who live here.

What are your priorities if you are elected?

We need more businesses. If I am elected, I will go into town and thank for being here in Carthage. 

What area needs the most improvement?

We need more businesses and affordable housing.

What are your goals for the first 90 days you are in office?

To thank our existing businesses and to work on improving our downtown area.

Kevin Lewis

Do you have family members, and how do they feel about you running for office?

I am the last of the line, but I do have friends who support me.

How long have you lived in the area?

I have lived here for 42 years.

Have you served in any elected or volunteer roles?

No elected offices, but I volunteered for the USO of New York and the Fort Bragg recreational program.

What is your job/occupation?

I worked as a features writer for The Fayetteville Observer, as lifestyles editor of The Sandhill Citizen, and 25 years combined as a feature writer for two Hollywood guilds, the Directors Guild of America and the Motion Picture Editors Guild. I graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a BA in history. I was special projects coordinator for the Shubert Archive and the American Theatre Wing.  I worked on Ft Bragg as a curator of the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum and for the USO of Metropolitan New York. I teach film history at Sandhills Community College.

What are you most proud of in your town/village?

I am proud of the local initiative. I am proud of the Pik n Pig, the airport and the art center. I am very proud of the public initiative.

What are your priorities if you are elected?

I would like to see sidewalks on Dowd Street. I would like to see the Courthouse situation resolved. I would like to see Carthage become a walking place.

What area needs the most improvement?

The Downtown Historic Courthouse. I would like it to be a place for concerts and walking events. 

What are your goals for the first 90 days you are in office?

I would install sidewalks and resolve the courthouse situation. I want to bring commerce and business to Carthage and make it a destination place for home improvement, pet need, tourist and recreational customers.

George H. Wilson, Jr.

Do you have family members, and how do they feel about you running for office?

I have a wife and one adult child, both of which are very supportive.

How long have you lived in the area?

I was born here and returned to the place of my rearing after a military career; I am retired at the rank of MSgt (E-7), USAF, as well as 1005 Disabled Veteran.

Have you served in any elected or volunteer roles?

I have served as a member of the Town Appearance Committee, also I chaired the Carthage Mural Committee, a sub-committee of the Carthage Century Committee. I was appointed to the Town Board to complete the term of one of two vacant seats for I think approximately two years, I believe and then was elected to a four-year term that expires in December of this year.

What is your job/occupation?

I have worked for 25 years, since my military retirement Sept/Oct 1994. The most recent vocation was that of Special Education (Exceptional Child) Teacher. I hold a Masters of Education from Grand Canyon University, and a BA in Psychology from St. Andrews University, then known as St. Andrews Presbyterian College.

What are you most proud of in your town/village?

Everything about my hometown. As the late Felton Capel often said,  “it’s a poor frog that doesn’t croak his own pond.” With all her flaws and vacant storefronts, “Sweet Carthage” has more potential than even some of the folks more senior to my tender 62, soon to be 63 years young (nine days after Election Day).

What are your priorities if you are elected?

When I am elected, if the Lord sees fit, I will try to guide the Board of Commissioners toward stimulating our local economy. I have a vision of recruiting non-service industry jobs. I have watched in horror for all of my adult life, young people leaving Carthage to seek gainful employment elsewhere. Very few of my peers have remained in the bounds of Carthage. If they are here now, they have spent time elsewhere to earn a retirement and returned “home” to live out their golden years.

What area needs the most improvement?

We have infrastructure concerns, chief of which is sustainable sewer capacity. We have to plan for the coming housing expansion. We have to carefully manage growth but not forget the critical need for affordable housing and rental properties.

What are your goals for the first 90 days you are in office?

It is unrealistic to set short-term goals. We have to continue to look further down-range than days or months; we need to forecast well into the future or be caught by surprise by unforeseen needs that we have no resources or capital to satisfy. It is here-and-now reactionary crisis management that has ruined many a municipality. A proactive effort is the key to any successful endeavor.

Early voting has begun and will run through November 1. The election is November 5. You can find more information on the Moore County Board of Elections website.

Sandhills_SentinelLocal News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.
Contact him at chris@sandhillssentinel.com or (910) 639-9303

 

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