In an email to supporters last week, Sanford Mayor Chet Mann announced that he will seek a third term in the fall.
“We have come so far over the last seven years that I sincerely want to see it through and finish the job with one more term,” Mann wrote. “We went from six years of flat to negative growth and a tired and apathetic city in 2013 to the number one micropolitan city in North Carolina, number five micropolitan city in the United States as named by Site Selection Magazine, a nationwide publication, just a few weeks ago.”
Mann, a Democrat, was first elected in 2013 over former Mayor Cornelia Olive, also a Democrat, in that year’s primary. He faced no opposition in the general election, and was uncontested for re-election in 2017.
Mann said this year he expects to have opposition but noted “we need to finish the job and protect the work we have put in and the progress we have made.”
“This is not about politics or political parties for me. This is about building something bigger and better than ourselves. It’s about delivering results,” he wrote. “I think the first seven and a half years speak for themselves.”
Of course, the status of the 2021 municipal election is unclear. Locally, seats on the Sanford City Council and the Broadway Town Council are scheduled to appear on the ballot, but because Census data for the 2020 count is expected to come later than usual this year, and because it’s a redistricting year, there is a possibility elections, particularly ones in which candidates run in wards or districts, will be delayed. Ward seats 1 (Democrat Sam Gaskins) and 3 (Democrat J.D. Williams) on the Sanford City Council as well as the at large council seat held by Democrat Chas Post are up in 2021. All of Broadway’s council members are elected at large.
Jeni Harris, the director of the Lee County Board of Elections said the decision in some cases may be made to delay and election by local officials, but the State Board of Elections has asked the lawmakers to make a decision that would make more a uniform situation statewide. That status of any legislation doing that is currently unknown.