ONLINE UPDATE: Saffo, Watkins file for city council

by Sam Wilson
Friday, July 5, 2013

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 business.

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.

email sam@luminanews.com

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