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Cornelius News

Veteran Commissioner Thurman Ross files for re-election

Long-time Commissioner Thurman Ross has filed to run for another term on the Cornelius Town Board. He is the only African-American on the town’s governing body and the only member from the east side of town. He is the first of the five incumbents to officially file for re-election.

Ross, who has been on the town board much of the past 20 years, survived a recount in the 11-way Cornelius Town Board race in 2017.

The three women who ran and lost two years ago—Ava Callender, Michelle Ferlauto and Tricia Sisson—say they are not running this year.


The board has been all male since Lynette Rinker was a commissioner. She served as mayor pro-tem from December of 2009 until January, 2013. In January, 2013 she was sworn in as mayor of Cornelius, and ran unsuccessfully in the primary for NC House District 98.

She was defeated in the primary by John Bradford, another member of the Cornelius Town Board.

The board has been a stepping stone to higher office.

Bradford moved on to the NC House. He himself replaced US Sen. Thom Tillis, who started out on the Cornelius Town Board and went on to become NC Speaker of the House before seeking national office.

Former NC Sen. Jeff Tarte served three terms as mayor before moving on to the legislature.

Filing for the November elections opened July 5 and closes July 19.

Mayor Woody Washam has also filed at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections to run again.

Newcomers Kurt Naas and Denis Bilodeau—both residents of The Peninsula—were elected to the board in 2017, with Dr. Mike Miltich, winning the most votes. They, as well as commission veteran Dave Gilroy and Miltich, the top vote-getter two years ago, say they will run again.

Ten more days remain until the filing window closes. To view the latest candidate filings county-wide, click here: http://apps.meckboe.org/Candidates_new.aspx