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Cornelius News

Washam will run for mayor in 2017

Dec. 14. Woody Washam will throw his hat in the ring for mayor in 2017. The popular mayor pro tem of Cornelius—he has been the highest vote-getter in the past two elections—is expected to formally announce his candidacy next month.

There’s no official word on whether Mayor Chuck Travis will run for a third term. He ran unopposed in November of 2015, only to be censured by all five members of the Town Board for a stealth visit to N.C. Sen. Phil Berger to express his personal views in favor of widening I-77 with toll lanes between Charlotte and Mooresville. Travis did not respond to an email and phone call Tuesday.

The town board, Washam included, had already voted repeatedly to stop the 50-year toll plan. Meanwhile NC Sen. Jeff Tarte, himself a former mayor of Cornelius, and NC Rep. John Bradford, a former Cornelius commissioner, also fought to cancel the $650 million toll plan, only to see it fail in Berger’s domain—the NC Senate.

Washam has earned the respect of the Town Board which has coalesced around his leadership as mayor pro tem.

Washam, a life-long Cornelius resident, has never voted for the toll plan, which the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce has staunchly opposed since before the 2015 elections.

“I’ve worked hard to try to stop the NCDOT I-77 toll road project by supporting resolutions calling for a 90-day moratorium on the toll road and then the de-funding and termination of the contract as well as assisting Rep. Bradford and Sen. Tarte in their efforts at the state level to stop the tolls and widen I-77 with general purpose lanes,” Washam said. “We have many critical and important issues to work hard on in our town and I will do everything I can to make sure the voices of the people and businesses of Cornelius are heard. I am grateful for the widespread encouragement from both elected officials and citizens to run for Mayor of our great town.”

Andy Yates of Red Dome Group is expected to manage Washam’s campaign. Washam was elected to the Town Commission in 2013 coming in first in a field of 10 candidates. Fellow commissioners unanimously selected Washam to serve as Mayor Pro-Tem. As Mayor Pro-Tem, Washam represents the Town of Cornelius on the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization, the Arts and Sciences Council, Lake Norman EDC, North Mecklenburg Alliance and the new Cornelius Arts and Community Center Board.

Washam is senior vice president at Carolina Trust Bank.