Though no one made it official by filing with the Wake County Board of Elections on Friday’s opening day for candidates to make their intentions known, it appears there will be a race for two seats on the Garner Town Council.
Jeanette Hagwood has said intends to file for election to a seat on the council. The Garner Board of Adjustment and Garner Volunteer Fire Board member will join the race for seats held by incumbents Gra Singleton and Kathy Behringer. Both have said they intend to seek re-election.
Singleton has been on the Town Council for 20 years, Behringer for eight. Councilmen Ken Marshburn and Buck Kennedy – along with Mayor Ronnie Williams and Mayor pro tem Jackie Johns – won’t face re-election until 2015.
“I just want to have a more active voice in the town. I’ve had a Garner address my entire life, my entire sixty years, and I want to have one the rest of my life,” Hagwood said.
The move surprised neither candidate; her intent to run had been known to the town council and mayor for several months. Singleton also added that no one expected the race to be unopposed.
“I can’t recall anyone that ran unopposed for many, many years. We’ve had mayors run unopposed, but as far as the council, there have always been challenging candidates,” Singleton said.
Hagwood, a registered Republican, said she wants to represent a “voice of integrity, common sense and conservative values.” A prominent lifetime resident and businesswoman, she currently works in hospice after having owned and operated Garner Carpet with her husband until he passed away. She had been an active member of the business community.
Behringer is also a Republican while Singleton is a Democrat, though partisan rhetoric has been scant in Garner’s municipal government in recently. Hagwood said she has no intent to change that, and said working together on issues is the best way to accomplish goals.
“I don’t’ anticipate anything controversial or ugly at all,” Behringer said.
The town recently passed a $35.7 million bond unanimously supported by the nominally split council and Democratic Mayor Ronnie Williams. Hagwood said she supported and voted for the bond.
“I think (the council has) done an excellent job. I see Garner growing tremendously, and I think we need to be positioned for that positive growth,” Hagwood said. “I want to strengthen the financial environment without raising taxes.”
Hagwood said she “doesn’t have this big platform put together just yet,” but has a particular interest in budgetary issues.
“Just like the family budget, I’d like to oversee the town budget,” Hagwood said. “I think I can bring a good business head to the budget.”
The Board of Adjustment on which Hagwood serves meets monthly and decides appeals on decisions regarding land use and development. The town appointed her to the Garner Fire board last fall; half of that board overseeing the independent agency’s budget is town-appointed.
The period for filing as a candidate in the 2013 municipal election started on Friday, July 5 and will end July 19 at noon. Nonpartisan municipal primaries will occur statewide Oct. 8 and Election Day is Nov. 5. Candidates take office in December.