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As Filing Deadline Arrives, City Elections Take Shape In Asheville

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The filing deadline is noon on Friday July 21st for candidates wishing to run for offices in this fall's municipal elections in Buncombe County.  Asheville, Black Mountain, Montreat, Weaverville, and Woodfin will all be holding elections this fall for mayor, city council, town council, or board of alderman seats (Woodfin will also hold an election for its Sanitary Water & Sewer District Board of Trustees).  Asheville Citizen-Times reporter Joel Burgess joined BPR's Matt Bush in studio to discuss candidates that have already filed for the Asheville elections.  Mayor Esther Manheimer is running for re-election and has at least one challenger, while 3 city council seats will also be on the ballot - those currently held by Cecil Bothwell, Gordon Smith, and Gwen Wisler.  Since 8 candidates have already declared they're running (with more possible), a primary will be needed to cut that number down to 6 for November's general election.  Burgess tells BPR that will likely be held in October.  This year is scheduled to be the final city council election where voters choose at-large.  In 2019, districts will be drawn for city council elections as mandated by a law approved by the General Assembly earlier this summer.

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.