The filing period officially began at noon on Friday, July
5, and four local municipal candidates including Mayor Bill Saffo and city council candidate Skip Watkins were on hand to file, along with a crowd of
around fifty supporters and volunteers.
Mayor Bill Saffo, a Democrat, showed up to cement his
candidacy for reelection, addressing media and supporters after the official
paperwork was submitted.
"I believe from my perspective that we have made a lot
of progress in the City of Wilmington,
but there are still a couple of things left that I want to see finished,"
he said during a short speech following the official filing. Saffo went on to
reiterate his intent to finish ongoing projects in Wilmington, including the convention center hotel and the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail, along
with his desire to work more with county and state legislators to attract new
In addition to two candidates for Carolina Beach
offices, Republican Brian "Skip" Watkins filed for city council. For
the past 16 years Watkins has been the manager of the Cape Fear Fair and Expo, and has served on its board of directors for the past 24 years.
"I'm a financial advisor, so by nature I believe in
fiscal planning, making the dollar work," he said. "I want to make
sure we have strong fiscal guidance from the city council."
Watkins also cited the city's aging population, green
spaces, and mass transit as his focus areas.
"The recent baseball thing really bothered me," he
said, when asked why he decided to run. "We have to grow, but in a
balanced, fiscal manner."
The filing deadline for candidates seeking office in Wilmington’s Nov. 5
municipal elections is July 19.