Committee chair announces plans to seek mayor’s seat
Less than two weeks after the midterm elections, one candidate has already declared for next year. Walker Davidson announced plans Wednesday, Nov. 17, to run for the Weddington mayor’s seat in the 2011 election.
“I’m announcing now because I have a lot of work to do,” Davidson, chair of the town’s public safety committee, said. “I want to continue to get the opinions of as many citizens of Weddington (on town issues) as I can. It is hard to know where the (residents) stand on the issues when only 20 percent of them voted in the 2009 election.”
That 2009 election was Davidson’s first try for the mayor’s chair, as he finished second in a spirited, four-person race. Incumbent Nancy Anderson won with 36 percent of the electorate, or 515 votes. Davidson was second at 26 percent, or 370 votes. Barbara Harrison finished third with 19 percent and Hughie Sexton finished in fourth with 17 percent.
“One of my goals for this campaign is to get more than 50 percent of the people out to vote on Election Day,” Davidson said. “I want to continue to build an informed and active citizen base (in town).”
A financial advisor and 10-year Weddington resident, Davidson, who lives with his wife and two kids in Shaver Farms, feels he can improve the way the town does business.
“I want to help improve the town’s long-term planning process,” Davidson said. “Decisions made by the town council should be based on facts and not on emotion, misinformation or special interests.”
Davidson was a vocal opponent of town spending for this summer’s Weddstock festival series. The original budget called for the town to contribute $2,000, but Weddstock planners returned, requesting $11,000 to handle expenses. Organizers said expenses increased because as festival drew more people than expected, requiring more equipment in the children’s area. At the same time, alcohol sales fell short – an average of $700 each week.
“I don’t believe every problem in the town requires a response from the town government,” Davidson said. When the town does respond, “the council should operate with clarity and transparency.”
As Davidson launches his campaign, Mayor Anderson said she’s not sure if she will seek another term.
“I have some family issues that could be deal-breakers,” Anderson said this week. Anderson’s 89-year-old mother lives with her, and the mayor is now a grandmother to twins.