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Sheriff Ennis Wright, Councilwoman Kathy Jensen file for re-election

Four more challengers enter Fayetteville City Council races, and a Hope Mills man files for the state House District 45 seat.


Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis Wright filed Wednesday for another term as the county’s top law enforcement officer, and Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Keefe Jensen filed for a fifth term in District 1 with the Fayetteville City Council.

Four more challengers also entered City Council races: Bill Ayerbe in District 3, Derrick Thompson and Peter Pappas in District 6 and John Czajkowski in District 9.

Keith Byrd of Hope Mills entered the race for N.C. House District 45. His opponent is Chris Davis, the city councilman from District 6. Both are Democrats. The seat is currently held by Republican John Szoka, who has said he plans to file for Congress.

“The last eight years have gone by quick, and I am proud of the accomplishments that we have made,” Jensen said. “The last two years have been very challenging with the pandemic. But we have continued to move our city forward. And now with COVID breaking, we have a lot of work to do to get our economy and city working again, and I am up for the challenge.’’

Stormwater, public safety, affordable housing and 2016 parks and recreation bond referendum projects are among her priorities, Jensen said.

One other person has filed for the district seat, Alex Rodriguez.

The filing period ends at noon Friday. Primaries are scheduled for May 17.

Ayerbe becomes the fourth challenger for the District 3 seat now occupied by Antonio Jones, who was voted into the seat by the City Council in January after the November resignation of Tisha Waddell. The other candidates are John Zimmerman, Mario Benavente and Kurin Keys. All applied for Waddell’s seat along with Ayerbe and Jones.

Thompson and Pappas now are among four candidates in the District 6 race. The others are Joy Marie Potts and Leigh Howard.

Czajkowski becomes the third challenger for the District 9 seat held by incumbent Yvonne Kinston, who has filed for re-election. The other challengers are Deno Hondros and Sonya Renita Massey.

Wright joined the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office in 1997 and was appointed by the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners as sheriff on Jan. 3, 2017, to complete the term of retiring Sheriff Earl “Moose” Butler.

Wright was elected as the county’s first African-American sheriff on Nov. 6, 2018, and has held the office since. He is being challenged by Lester A. Lowe.

Bill Kirby Jr. can be reached at billkirby49@gmail.com or 910-624-1961.

Fayetteville, City Council, municipal elections, Cumberland County, sheriff