Third candidate files for mayor
By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector
Friday, July 7, 2017
A self-described prayer warrior joined two Greenville City Council members to run for the city mayoral post Friday during the first day of filing for municipal elections.
Curtis Gene Pulley, a west Greenville resident who said he is a volunteer for several Christian outreach ministries, filed to run for the post left vacant when three-term Mayor Allen Thomas stepped down to take a position with the N.C. Global TransPark in Kinston. At-Large Councilman Calvin Mercer and District 5 member P.J. Connelly, who had already announced their intentions to run, also filed for the post.
No candidates emerged Friday for the seats held by Mercer and Connelly. A new candidate, Darrell Hinnant Jr., did file for the District 4 seat currently held by Rick Smiley. Smiley did not file today and has not yet announced his intentions.
Kandie Smith, who was named Greenville’s interim mayor on Thursday night by the council, filed for re-election to her old District 1 seat. Rose Glover did not file for reelection to the District 4 seat on Friday.
Uriah Ward, a local middle school teacher, officially filed for the District 3 seat currently held by first-term Councilman McLean Godley. Godley announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election. Ward announced his candidacy a short time later.
Pulley, a native of Falkland, said that after several months of prayer God told him in February to run for mayor. He said he believes that students at East Carolina University need to be encouraged to stay in Greenville, as well as place an emphasis on trades like plumbing and electricity. He also said that the quality of life in Greenville should be higher.
“Somewhere between the hurricanes and other events in Greenville, people have lost a lot of joy in their hearts,” said Pulley. “I want to bring that joy back to them.”
He also said the city should be more focused on retaining skilled talent from East Carolina University, expanding the city tax base, and bringing more jobs to the city through partnerships with companies outside of Greenville.
Mercer and Connelly walked into the Board of Elections office together as filing began at noon on Friday. Mercer joked with Connelly, asking him if he was still filing for the At-Large seat, the one Mercer is vacating for his mayoral bid.
Both candidates spoke again today about the importance of the police departments and better roads and traffic safety in Greenville.
“Growth is determined by safety,” said Connelly. “I’ve always supported the Greenville Police Department and pushed for public safety.”
Mercer said that he hoped to create a better Greenville by focusing on safety.
“You build a great place to live, and a great place to do business,” said Mercer. “Then professionals want to come here, companies want to come here, retirees want to come here, and ECU students want to stay here.”
Pedestrian safety is the leading platform for Ward, who also was among candidates to file at noon.
Hinnant filed later on Friday and could not be reached by phone on Friday night.
The filing period continues through noon on July 21. All persons interested in running for elected office in Pitt County are required to file their paperwork with the Board of Elections to be named on the ballot. The election is Nov. 7. Early voting has not been set.
Elections will be held in all of the county’s municipalities except for Falkland, according to the state Board of Elections. The municipalities outside of Greenville include Winterville, Simpson, Grimesland, Grifton, Fountain, Farmville, Bethel and Ayden.
Other candidates who filed Friday include:
• Raymond Langley, Ayden commissioner Ward 3
• Johnny Davis, Ayden commissioner Ward 4
• Phyllis P. Ross, Ayden commissioner Ward 5
• Janet Everett Davis, Bethel commissioner
• Carl Wilson, Bethel commissioner
• David Ingles, Grifton commissioner
• Thomas Dixon, Grimesland alderman
• Debbie Sekulski, Grimesland alderman
• Tucker Moore, Winterville Mayor
Contact Seth Gulledge at firstname.lastname@example.org and 329-9579.