Last week made it clear the city of Asheville's political season is off to an early start, as this year's elections will determine the majority of seats on Asheville City Council. Two mayoral candidates (Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer and former city staffer John Miall) have already declared, and Council member Cecil Bothwell says that he'll run for another term.
After asked by Xpress if she'd run for another term, Manheimer announced that she would seek the top job rather than run for re-election to her Council seat. She said she was running because "our need for inclusive, inspired, strategic leadership on Council is perhaps greater than ever."
Manheimer, an attorney with the Van Winkle law firm, has served on Council since 2009, and was selected vice mayor in 2011.
John Miall, the city's former director of risk management, earlier announced that he too will seek the mayor's spot, promising to examine lower taxes and ensuring that pay for city employees is "second to none."
Mayor Terry Bellamy, on Council since 1999, has served two terms, and remains mum on whether she'll run for a third.
On the Council front, Bothwell replied to Xpress that he will seek re-election. Council member Gordon Smith says he'll announce his course of action in April. So far, no other Council candidates have declared.
The mayorship and three Council seats are up for election this year. An Oct. 8 primary will narrow the field to six Council and two mayoral candidates before a Nov. 5 general election. Asheville's municipal elections are non-partisan.