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Cornelius News

Another candidate emerges for Town Board

Another candidate emerges for Town Board

Top row: Jim Duke, Woody Washam, Chuck Travis. Bottom row: Mike Miltich, J.R. Mount, Denis Bilodeau

July 14. With just three days left to file, it looks like there are only three non-incumbents running for Town Board, and so far, no one has stepped up to run against Cornelius Mayor Chuck Travis who has a formidable $33,000 in his campaign warchest.

During the nonpartisan elections two years ago, there were a total of 10 commission candidates for five seats, all of which come up for grabs every two years. In 2013, Travis ran unopposed for mayor.

Back in the race is Heritage Green resident J.R. Mount, one of the few people who said he was firmly against NCDOT plans to widen I-77 with a public-private partnership. “I am against the tolls. I do believe that if the state wanted to re-allocate the money for it it could,” Mount said back in 2013.

He came in 10th, with 451 votes.

Another newcomer running is Aquesta Insurance executive Denis Bilodeau. The third non-incumbent is Dr. Michael Miltich, who also ran in 2013, but came in sixth, just behind Commissioner Jim Duke.

So far, the only incumbents who have filed are Duke, who got 1,286 votes, and Woody Washam, the top vote-getter with 1,992 votes. But Bruce Trimbur, who was appointed to the board, and long-term commissioners Thurman Ross and Dave Gilroy are expected to file as well.

No candidates—at least not as of 5 pm Tuesday—have emerged from the Exit 28 Ridiculousness Facebook page or the WidenI-77.org anti-toll page. This, despite discussions and imprecations over the past several months.

Travis, through campaign manager Lawrence Shaheen, declined to answer a question about the I-77 toll plan until filing after closes Friday at noon.

In a press release July 6 he said: “Cornelius has experienced a record breaking pace of growth these last years, primarily because we live in a great community where others want to be. As the leader of our Town Board, we have collectively focused on providing excellent police and fire services, improving our town services to enhance and maintain the quality of life while demonstrating fiscal responsibility with our tax dollars—which has earned our Town the distinction of having the lowest tax rate of any municipality in North Carolina.

“If chosen by the people of Cornelius for a second term as mayor, I plan to further expand the infrastructure improvements throughout our town for transportation and economic development opportunities, improve lake access for all residents and help guide the planning and construction of a new Arts Center in the historic Cornelius Town Center.”

For a list of all who have filed, click here.

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