I am running for mayor, commissioner tells GOP group
by Staff Writer
HUNTERSVILLE – Commissioner Danae Caulfield announced Tuesday during a North Mecklenburg Republican Women’s meeting that she will run for mayor in November.
“My decision was not based on anything negative against the current mayor (Jill Swain). I just happen to be applying for the same job that she will be applying for should she decide to run again,” Caulfield said in an email. “I have a different vision on what my role as mayor would be and how I could use that position to help make government more accessible to the people. It will be my responsibility to articulate to the voters over the next few months that vision.”
The first-term Republican said she began considering a mayoral run about a month ago. She wasn’t expecting to announce so soon, she said, but decided to announce after learning the women’s group wouldn’t meet again until September.
Caulfield, a Realtor by trade, rose to the board in 2009 amongst the wave of conservative Republican candidates. Voters elected her to the seat vacated by Brian Sisson, who sought unsuccessfully to unseat Swain.
The announcement comes as a surprise to most and kick starts what is shaping up to be a very hotly contested election in Huntersville, even though candidate filing doesn’t begin until next month.
With Caulfield running for mayor, Huntersville’s election will begin with no incumbents fighting for at least three seats on the Board of Commissioners. Ken Lucas gave up his seat this month after announcing would move to Texas to take a job, and the town charter was changed last year to expand the board from five to six members.
That many open seats almost guarantees a large field of candidates vying for voters’ support. Last election, 11 people sought to be on the board with only one seat uncontested.
So far, however, only Adam Planty, a Republican and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer and former U.S. Army Military Police officer, has announced his intention to run for town board. Candidate filing begins July 1.
This expansion of the town board also makes the mayor’s seat all the more important as he or she must vote to break any ties. And with six commissioners, the often-divided board will likely deadlock in ties regularly.