Fourteen candidates have filed to seek office this year in Huntersville. With one of the biggest turnovers in years expected at the dais, the Herald Weekly is providing an introduction of sorts of the candidates looking to make that change.

In the coming months, the Herald Weekly hopes to be your election headquarters, so check back to learn more about your potential leaders.

Mayoral candidates

Beth Danae Caulfield

Age: 49

Family: husband, Joe; adult children Brittany, Sam and Caleb

Political Experience: Huntersville commissioner (2009-present)

Education: Business, U.S. Air Force studying avionics and electronics

Job: Broker, Keller William Realty

Reason for running: “As mayor, I would continue the good things that are being done while expanding and utilizing the role of mayor to do even more for our residents, businesses and our region. I would be pro-active in these core areas: consensus building, on our local board as well as regionally. Advocate and liaison for the people; I would hold regular mayor meet-ups. Economic development; we must stay ahead with infrastructure, ensure that our planning process is streamlined and welcome and help businesses that are already here. Advocate for transparency and accountability because government belongs to the people.”

Contact: or

Jill Swain (incumbent)

Mayor Jill Swain did not respond to this questionnaire before the Herald Weekly deadline.

Sandy Tilley

Age: 69

Family: husband, Ted; son, Mike

Education: human resources certification from Kennesaw State University

Job: Founder of Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen; retired from Royal and SunAlliance in 2007.

Reason for running: “I believe that Huntersville is lacking the strength of leadership that is required to meet the demands of our growing community. My goal is to bring both organization and a commitment to work together for the good of the entire community to the town board.”


Commissioner candidates

Melinda Bales

Age: 41

Family: husband, John; sons, Joshua, 11, and Jonathan, 9

Political Experience: Former PTA president at Torrence Creek Elementary School, chairman of the town’s Greenway, Trail and Bikeway Commission

Education: Attended East Tennessee State University

Job: Stay-at-home mom; former quality manager for MCI in Newport News, Va.

Reason for running: “I am a fiscal conservative who wants to make a difference for the future of Huntersville. I will help ensure that our town is prepared to provide essential services and schools to our community in a responsible way. By working together, I believe that we can meet the needs of Huntersville, both now and for years to come.”

Contact: or

Adam Boatsman

Age: 38

Family: wife, Julie; children, Jacob, Eva and Miles

Political Experience: member of the boards of Lake Norman Economic Development Corp. and Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce
Education: B.A. from Arizona State University in accounting and information systems

Job: Founding partner of Boatsman Gillmore accounting firm

Reason for running: “I decided to run for the town board because I believe that I have the right skill set at this moment in time to address our biggest issues as residents of our great town.  I have built our accounting firm by helping small to mid-size businesses grow in a smart, fiscally responsible manner.  I have volunteered my time by sitting on the board of the Lake Norman Economic Development Corporation and the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce to work for the common good of the region in the areas of economic development. During my tenure, we have seen some great successes.”

Contact: or

Charles Guignard

Age: 60

Political experience: Mayor pro tem (1997-2001)

Education: B.A. from N.C. State University

Job: Real estate re-developer

Reason for running: “I’ve been in Huntersville for over 32 years. Have enjoyed my community involvement. I’m involved with Angels of ’97, the town board and many other activities and look to use my experience to help the town benefit all its citizens.”

Contact: 704-875-1407

Charles Jeter (incumbent)

Age: 37

Family: wife, Jennifer; children, Caroline, 10, Ellie, 8, and Charles, 5

Political Experience: Huntersville commissioner (2005-present)

Education: B.A. from Wofford College in business economics

Job: President of nationwide logistics company Intermodal FCL

Reason for running: “After serving six years on the town board I feel like we have accomplished a great number of things. However, our leadership still makes decisions that I believe defy com0mon sense. Voting for a tax increase this year and condemning private property for the sole benefit of a private developer last year are two major decisions that run contrary to my beliefs and what I believe are the beliefs of a majority of Huntersville residents. Therefore, as the only incumbent to vote against both of those items, I think I have responsibility to follow through on the promises I’ve made to the residents of Huntersville and continue to try and apply common-sense leadership to improve the quality of life for all of Huntersville.”

Contact: or

Ron Julian (incumbent)

Age: 50

Family: wife Teresa; adult children Melissa and Shane

Political Experience: Huntersville commissioner (2007-present)

Education: Nuclear Engineer Technology from Regents College

Job: Owner of Teron Services, a property management-development company

Reason for running: “Our business and family have deep roots in Huntersville, and we are proud to call it home. In the past 30 years, Huntersville has undergone a change from cornfields to computers. I would hope during my continued service on the town board that we can continue to recognize both our rich history, all the while maintaining a finger on the pulse of tomorrow.”

Contact: or

Sarah McAulay (incumbent)

Age: 71

Political Experience: Mayor for five terms (1979-1987 and 1989-1991); commissioner for five terms (2001-present)

Education: B.A. from University of North Carolina at Greensboro in economics

Job: Formerly with Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and Bank of America; retired

Reason for running: “There are still many challenges and opportunities to provide leadership in our growing community, while still facing the economic realities most town budgets are undergoing. Serving Huntersville citizens in an elected capacity has always been an honor to me and is something that I never take for granted.  I look forward to an exciting campaign and welcome, as always, any suggestions or advice about how I can more effectively represent the viewpoints of citizens.”

Contact: or

Dempsey Miller

Age: 53

Family: wife, Myra; adult daughter

Political Experience: Soil and water conservation district supervisor (2010-present)

Education: B.S. from North Carolina State University

Job: Owner/Realtor at D Real Estate Company; retired civil engineer

Reason for running: “I think I can add some cohesiveness to the board. I have good negotiating skills, get along with everyone and can build support to help. One of the things I do best is listen to the people, and I can do the things they want.”

Contact: or

Jeff Neely

Age: 63

Family: wife, Virginia; two adult daughters, Kristina and Angela

Political experience: Member of Huntersville Planning Board

Education: Associate degree from Miami Dade College, Leadership Charlotte and Huntersville Citizens’ Police Academy

Job: Retired Belk Stores vice president; currently self employed retail/wholesale consultant and insurance agent.

Reason for running: “To be an advocate for: 1. Commercial and residential development that create jobs 2. Promoting financially responsible high-quality public facilities and services 3. Road and transportation improvements and 4. Implementing the necessary actions to achieve the goals of the Huntersville 2030 Community Plan. With over 20 years of retail executive management experience, including senior vice president and division general manager for a national retail chain with over 325 stores, I believe I have the experience necessary to provide leadership that will be financially responsible while enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Huntersville.”


Danny Phillips

Danny Phillips did not respond to this questionnaire before the Herald Weekly deadline.

Adam Planty

Age: 38

Family: wife, Maria; children, Catrina, 20, and Logan, 16

Political Experience: Chairman of MeckGOP Precinct 134 in Huntersville and delegate to Mecklenburg County and state GOP conventions; president of Crosswinds Home Owners Association

Education: Associate degree from Fayetteville Technical Community College in general education; associates degree from Central Piedmont Community College; bachelors from University of North Carolina at Charlotte in criminal justice.

Job: Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer; U.S. Army; U.S. Army Reserves

Reason for running: “To ensure public safety needs are being met, infrastructure needs are prioritized correctly, support economic growth, keep taxes low, and protect property owner rights.”

Contact: or

Brian Sisson

Age: 44

Family: wife, Tricia; children, Kaitlyn, 16, and Sam, 13

Political experience: Town commissioner (2001-2005), mayor pro tem (2005-2009)

Education: B.A. from University of North Carolina at Charlotte in criminal justice; M.A. from Kennedy Western University in management information systems.

Job: Owner of Customer One Solutions, a business process consulting firm; about to open Lake Norman Sporting Arms in Cornelius with wife and business partner.

Reason for running: “I have an eight-year record of voting conservatively in this town, voting to spend your tax dollars wisely for essential services, building roads and supporting our police officers and emergency workers, and I ask the residents of Huntersville to support me in my run for the town board on Nov. 8.”

Contact: or