While national media are already going about the ritual of speculating about the 2016 Presidential elections, it’s not too early for Ashevilleans to start discussing who might run in the 2013 city elections — with the mayorship and three Asheville City Council seats up — and what they’ll fight about.
Will Mayor Terry Bellamy run for a third term? Bellamy has, at this point, served the longest of any mayor since the city changed to its current election system.
If Bellamy does run, will someone on Council still try to take her spot? Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer? Council member Cecil Bothwell (like Bellamy he ran for a congressional seat this year)? Someone else?
Speaking of Council members — Manheimer, Bothwell, and Gordon Smith are all up for re-election. If any, or several, of them, make a run at the mayor’s seat, the race for seats on Council opens up, as none of them could run for two offices at once. There’s no shortage of former candidates and notables in Asheville’s political scene who might see it as the right year to toss their hat into the ring (just one of the many well-used political metaphors we journalists will subject the public to in the months to come).
Who would you like to see in Council chambers come December 2013?
Moving away from the horse-race aspect, there’s no lack of looming issues in Asheville: limited city budget, low wages, rising cost of living, relations with Raleigh, infrastructure, and a tax revaluation, just in case things needed to be more complicated. What issues will dominate the 2013 elections, and what positions would you like to see on them?
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