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Candidate Filing Ends Friday, Interest in Possible Township Grows

By Michelle Bliss

07-14-11 – The candidate filing period for municipal elections closes Friday at noon. WHQR's Michelle Bliss reports that, so far, this year's most popular race is for the town council of an area that has yet to be incorporated...Castle Hayne.

So far, eight candidates have filed for Castle Hayne Town Council and one candidate is up for mayor.

Last month, the General Assembly passed legislation allowing for a referendum to incorporate Castle Hayne. That means Castle Hayne's roughly 1,900 residents will vote on the possibility of a town and its would-be leaders.

New Hanover County Board of Elections Director Marvin McFadyen says the area is gaining more interest than any of the beach towns or the City of Wilmington.

"For several municipalities, it's been unopposed so far. We've got a couple of seats that no one has filed for, at least one I know of in Kure Beach."

If the area does become a township, the elected mayor will serve two years and the two town council candidates with the highest number of votes in November will earn 4-year terms. The next two candidates will serve for shortened two-year terms, just for this election.

McFadyen says that if the referendum passes, his office will need to educate voters on new district boundaries.

"Dependent on where those boundaries lie will determine if that individual will be eligible to vote in the election. I can see there could be some confusion come November when the polling place in the Castle Hayne area is open for voting but not everyone is actually eligible to vote."

While Castle Hayne's council candidates have some competition, several posts in the county's beach towns still remain unopposed.