Shortly after Sanford Mayor announced on Monday that he won’t seek a third term in this year’s municipal election, two members of the city council announced bids for the office – setting up a Democratic primary on May 17.
Ward 1 Councilman Sam Gaskins and Ward 5 Councilwoman Rebecca Wyhof Salmon each announced Monday afternoon that they would seek the office of mayor. Both Gaskins and Wyhof Salmon are Democrats, and indicated they plan to focus on issues including economic development and continuing the revitalization of downtown. Both also cited support for Mann’s “Open for Business” agenda.
“The new growth has brought new challenges,” Gaskins said in a statement issued Monday. “We must manage this new growth and meet those challenges to maintain our identity while continuing to expand the tax base, which will enable the City of Sanford to lower the tax rates and lower the taxes on residential properties to the benefit of all our citizens.
Gaskins is a retired industrial scientist and technology manager and a former chemistry professor. He was first elected to the council representing Ward 1 in 2009, and served three terms as mayor pro tem. Read his full statement here.
Salmon is the president of Blue Roof Strategies. She was first elected to the council representing Ward 5 in 2011, and served two years as Mayor Pro Tem.
“We have made great strides during my time on Council,” Salmon said in a Facebook post. “Sanford has come alive, undergoing a dramatic revitalization, enjoying huge economic development accomplishments, and proving we are resilient and compassionate through the pandemic challenges. Working together, we will build on our success, harness our strengths and dream big.”
Salmon’s full statement included a quote from Mann.
“I fully support Rebecca Wyhof Salmon as our next Mayor,” he said. “She will bring energy, experience, and understanding of how to get things done. She will bring great leadership and her own special skill set to keep Sanford in its rightful place as the top Micropolitan City in NC.”