Two seek mayoral office as municipal election filing period opens

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Two people have filed to run for the office of City of Raeford Mayor in the first days of the open filing period for the 2021 municipal elections.

Incumbent Raeford Mayor John K. McNeill, and candidate Chris Parker have filed to seek election to the office, meaning the race for the seat is contested this year, according to the Hoke County Board of Elections.

Filing is open for the 2021 municipal elections in Raeford from now until noon Friday, July 16. Besides the office of City of Raeford Mayor, two Raeford City Council seats are also up for election this year. All of the city offices on the ballot are nonpartisan and so did not have partisan primary elections in the spring.

So far no one has filed to seek election to the two city council seats, according to the county Board of Elections. Wayne Willis and Charles Allen are the incumbent council members. City councilors serve four-year terms.

Allen is currently serving his second term in office since being elected in 2013. Willis is serving his third four-year term since being elected in 2009. Willis additionally served a partial term when he was first appointed to the board.

McNeill, the incumbent mayor, is currently serving his fourth consecutive term in office. The mayor serves a four-year term.

The filing period for the three positions opened Friday, July 2 and is running for two weeks. One-stop early voting will open in October and the city Election Day will be Tuesday, November 2.

About 30 municipalities in North Carolina, including Fayetteville and Lumberton, were told by the state to postpone their 2021 municipal elections until 2022 due to changes in population numbers in the 2020 U.S. Census possibly requiring districting boundary changes. Raeford was not affected by the state’s decision and can proceed with its 2021 municipal elections.

For more information on registering to vote or how to file to run for election, visit

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