With the deadline to file for candidacy in 2013 Wake County Elections passed, three people have filed for two Garner Town Council seats.
In the council race, Republican Jeanette Hagwood will challenge sitting council members Gra Singleton and Kathy Behringer. Singleton has been on the board for 20 years. Behringer has served for eight.
Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams said he’s contemplated endorsing candidates, but he said he’s not ready to do so. He said the quality of all of the candidates was solid. He added that in Garner, the more personable and hard-working the candidate, the better their chances.
“I think the ones that knock on the most doors will have the biggest chance of winning. You have to stand out there on the front porch and tell them you want their vote,” Williams said.
Sitting council members not up for election aren’t even going as far as Williams when it comes to picking favorites.
“It wouldn’t be proper for me to endorse any of these candidates. That’s something that in past elections we’ve all tried to steer clear of: picking sides and partnering with one over the other,” councilman Buck Kennedy said.
Councilman Ken Marshburn agreed.
“At this point it’s appropriate for a person like myself to remain neutral. The incumbents have done a good job and the challenger is a capable person,” said Marshburn, the last new entrant to the council. “I‘ve enjoyed serving with the current council. Gra and Kathy have done a great job. I know Ms. Hagwood some, she’s a capable person and she’ll run a strong race.”
Singleton and Behringer admit they have to work hard to keep their spots at the table, but they expect a clean race.
“It’ll be exciting and interesting and we’ll have a job ahead of us. Campaigning has work, but it’s all worth the effort. I don’t think there’ll be any negatives,” Behringer said.
Singleton echoed Behringer in wanting to follow through on the projects to be funded by the $35.7 million bond that the council unanimously supported and the public overwhelmingly approved.
“I still like doing it, I love Garner, I respect the people of Garner,” said Singleton, the longest-tenured council member.
Hagwood, who serves on the town’s Board of Adjustment and the Garner Volunteer Fire and Rescue board, said the council has done an excellent job and added that she voted for the bond. She wants to apply her business background to help manage the town’s budget.
“I’m going to have to get out there and work really hard, get my message out and contact the people,” Hagwood said. “I look forward to that.”