The contests for Chatham County’s 2023 municipal elections are set.
Candidate filing wrapped up on Friday, July 21 and voters in Goldston, Pittsboro and Siler City will head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
One of the most-watched races will be for mayor of Siler City.
This year’s contest features a rematch between incumbent Thomas “Chip” Price III and Donald Matthews.
In 2022, Price defeated Matthews in a three-person contest with 52% to 35% of the city’s vote.
"We're really at a time when leadership matters,” Matthews told the News & Record earlier this month. “We need to be able to make all of this work together for the greater good of the community.
Matthews said at his campaign launch the town needs a complete “revitalization” in order to prepare for new residents coming to Siler City and to improve services facilities and services for current residents.
“Our infrastructure needs to be completely redone. We should be looking and working with state legislature to get them to understand we need an investment in this community,” he said.
Price, for his part, has overseen impressive economic development and downtown revitalization in both his 10 years as a town commissioner and the past thirteen months as mayor.
Most notable is the Wolfspeed materials facility coming to the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site. The project is expected to create a significant number of jobs in the region.
In a speech in April, he stated that Siler City is committed to economic growth both for its citizens and the surrounding regions.
“(I want) to continue the vision and work already started by the town board and staff,” Price said during his 2022 campaign.
“The town should also strive to ensure that citizens are treated fairly and equally. While there is always room for improvement, the town is currently fulfilling its mission with the resources available,” he added.
In addition to the contest for mayor, four seats on the Siler City Board of Commissioners are up for grabs.
Three candidates are vying for one at-large seat on the board: incumbent commissioner Jay Underwood, Chandler Picot and Travis Patterson.
In Districts 2 and 3, incumbents Norma Boone and Curtis Brown are unopposed for reelection. District 4 incumbent William “Bill” Hiages, the current mayor pro tem, faces a challenge from Alec Hauser.
In Pittsboro, town commissioner Kyle Shipp was the only candidate to file for mayor and will be unopposed in November’s election.
Backed by outgoing mayor Cindy Perry, Shipp pledged to work with the community to lead Pittsboro towards a prosperous and sustainable future.
“Having served as Mayor for three terms, I wholeheartedly endorse Kyle as the ideal candidate to lead our town," said Perry in an endorsement of Shipp.
Shipp said his plan focuses on fostering entrepreneurship and creating a business-friendly environment for both new and existing businesses, generating quality employment opportunities for residents, protecting the town’s natural resources and delivering affordable housing.
Six candidates filed to run for three seats on Pittsboro’s Board of Commissioners.
Incumbents John Bonitz and J.A. “Jay” Farrell are running for reelection. They will appear on the ballot with Allen Wilson, John Foley, C.P. Stewart and Kali Korey.
The third municipality with elections this year is the town of Goldston – although none of their contests feature competitive races.
Jonathan Hensley will continue to serve as mayor as he was the only candidate to file for the seat of the southern Chatham County town.
Lisa Burke and Charlie Fields were the only candidates to file in Ward 2 and Ward 4 respectively.
Finally, three seats on the Goldston Gulf Sanitary District are on the ballot with three candidates: Danny Scott, Henry Kitchings and Ricky Beal.
Absentee ballots for November’s election will be available by Friday, Oct. 6 and early in-person voting begins in Thursday, Oct. 19. The voter registration deadline for this year’s election is Friday, Oct. 13. Voters will also be required to show photo identification to cast a ballot.