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Election 2023

First day of filing brings mayoral rematch, District 5 challengers

De la Cruz again challenges Colvin as others target Dawkins' seat


Fayetteville voters will decide a rematch in the mayor’s race, and at least three candidates are targeting the District 5 City Council seat, according to candidate filings Friday, the first day to sign up to run in the 2023 municipal elections.

Incumbent Mayor Mitch Colvin will be challenged again by Freddie de la Cruz, according to the Cumberland County Board of Elections Office. Colvin defeated de la Cruz in 2022 with 63% of the vote to the challenger’s 37%.

District 5 incumbent Johnny Dawkins, the current mayor pro tem, would face at least three challengers if he chooses to run for reelection. Dawkins did not file for office on Friday, according to the Board of Elections.

But three challengers did file in District 5: Fred G. LaChance III, who was defeated by Dawkins in 2022, as well as Justin Herbe and Lynne Bissette Greene.

In several other City Council districts, the incumbents filed Friday to retain their seats. They are:

  • District 1: Kathy Keefe Jensen.
  • District 2: Shakeyla Ingram.
  • District 3: Mario (Be) Benavente.
  • District 4: D.J. Haire.
  • District 7: Brenda McNair.
  • District 9: Deno Hondros.

In Hope Mills, incumbent Mayor Jackie Warner also faces a familiar challenger. Jessie Bellflowers, who served on the Board of Commissioners from 2017 to 2021, and Warner both filed for mayor on Friday.

Filing for Hope Mills commissioner were Deanna L. Rosario; Pat Edwards; Mark Hess; and incumbents Bryan A. Marley and Kenjuana McCray.

In Spring Lake, Katrina (Bell) Bratcher filed for a seat on the Board of Aldermen.

In Eastover, Frederick A. Williams filed for a seat on the Town Council.

Filing deadlines

Candidates can file for all municipal elections through noon July 21, according to the Board of Elections. 

The city of Fayetteville primary is scheduled Oct. 10, and the general election for all municipalities is Nov. 7.

Municipal offices that will be on the ballot include:

  • Fayetteville: mayor, all nine City Council seats.
  • Eastover Sanitary District: one board member.
  • Eastover: mayor, three town council seats.
  • Falcon: mayor, all four council seats.
  • Godwin: mayor, all four council seats.
  • Hope Mills: mayor, all five council seats.
  • Linden: mayor, all five council seats.
  • Spring Lake: mayor, all five council seats.
  • Stedman: three council seats.
  • Wade: mayor, all five council seats.

Anyone who is registered to vote in the contest in which they would run can file a candidacy. Voters do not have to belong to a political party to run for municipal office.

The only other eligibility requirement is to be 21 or older on Election Day. Any candidate who has been convicted of a felony must also disclose that information when filing for office. 

To file a candidacy, candidates must complete a notice of candidacy form at the Cumberland County Board of Elections in the E. Newton Smith Center at 227 Fountainhead Lane. Alternatively, candidates can have the form notarized and delivered to the Board of Elections office.

Additional information about candidate petitions is available at https://www.ncsbe.gov/candidates/petitions.

Prospective candidates can find more information and forms by visiting the Board of Elections website at Board of Elections website.

Editor Bobby Parker can be reached at editor@cityviewnc.com.

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Cumberland County, election, Fayetteville, City Council, mayor, Hope Mills