5 incumbents, 3 challengers file for EC October races
By Paul Nielsen The Daily Advance Staff Writer Jul 7, 2023
Mayoral candidate Christina Williams has kept one of her campaign promises.
Williams announced her second run for mayor on July 1 at the Pasquotank Political Action Committee picnic, saying at the time she would be the first candidate to file for the Oct. 10 municipal election.
Williams kept that promise.
She arrived at the Pasquotank Board of Elections Office on Edgewood Drive at 5 a.m. Friday morning and was the first candidate in line when filing began at noon.
First Ward councilors Joe Peel and Johnson Biggs were the second and third candidates, respectively, to file, both arriving at the elections office in the first hour of filing on Friday. Both ran unopposed in 2022.
Fourth Ward Councilor Johnnie Walton, Third Ward Councilor Katherine Felton and Second Ward Councilor Rose Whitehurst also field for re-election later Friday afternoon. Ronnie Morris also filed in the Fourth Ward while Moe Moore joined the Third Ward race.
Williams said she sat in her car and did some reading “on different things related to the city” while waiting for filing to open.
Williams is expected to face Mayor Kirk Rivers in October. Rivers announced in May that he plans to seek re-election.
Williams finished third in the 2022 mayor’s race, receiving 361 votes, or 13.37%. Rivers won the race with 1,364 votes, or 50.50%, while former city councilor Jeannie Young finished second with 972 votes, or 35.99%.
“This is the first step for Elizabeth City getting from the red to the black,” Williams said. “Obviously, we are in a bad financial situation and that is not going to change until we have new leadership, and probably qualified management.’’
Peel, who served three terms as the city’s mayor from 2011-17, was first elected to City Council in May 2022. He said he believes his experience in city government is needed on City Council.
“I’ve got experience and council is at a point where it needs some level heads and some people with experience,” Peel said. “I would hope that the voters will look at my past record and consider me as someone to vote for.”
Biggs, who is also serving his first term on City Council, said it has been a pleasure to serve the First Ward and the city. He believes his experience as a banker is beneficial to the city.
“We have accomplished a lot” in my first term, Biggs said. “We have had a lot thrown at us in the last year. I feel I have done my best to serve the citizens of Elizabeth City as a whole, but in particular in the First Ward, to the best of my ability. We have completed a (past-due) audit and we are well on our way to completing another past-due audit.”
Candidate filing for the city’s Oct. 10 municipal election ends at noon on Friday, July 21.
Early voting for the city election for mayor and eight council seats starts Sept. 21 and the deadline to request an absentee ballot for the Oct. 10 election is Oct. 3. The deadline to register to vote in the election is Sept. 15.
Candidates will file at the Pasquotank Board of Elections office and the filing fee for mayor and City Council is $10. After Friday, candidates can still file from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 10-14 and July 17-20. Filing on the final day, July 21, will be from 8 a.m. to noon.