Columbus, Saluda, Tryon plan forums for upcoming election

Published 10:28 am Monday, October 2, 2017

POLK COUNTY – The public will soon be able to meet the candidates running for councils of the Towns of Columbus and Tryon and City of Saluda with forums planned for each town.

The first forum will be for the Town of Columbus, which is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 12 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Columbus Town Hall. Columbus’ “Meet the Candidates” is being sponsored by the Columbus Merchant’s Association.

The next forum will be on Monday, Oct. 16 for candidates for the Town of Tryon. Tryon’s forum will be held at the Roseland Community Center on Monday, Oct. 16 from 6:30-8 p.m.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Saluda’s forum will be held at the Saluda Senior Center on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m.

Each forum will give candidates the opportunity to introduce themselves and be followed by questions.

The public is encouraged to attend the forums.

There are races for all council seats in each of the three towns as well as races for both the Tryon and Saluda mayors. Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre is the only candidate in the county running unopposed this year.

Town of Columbus

Incumbent Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre will run unopposed but there are six candidates to fill three council seats. Incumbents Mark Phillips and Richard Hall are being challenged by Ernie Kan, Brent Jackson, Marshall “Buddy” Watkins and Robert Williamson. Josh Denton’s seat is up for re-election, but he chose not to run this year.

City of Saluda

There will be races for both mayor and two open council seats in Saluda. Incumbent Saluda Mayor Fred Baisden is being challenged by Heath Potter. For council, incumbents Carolyn Ashburn and Mark Oxtoby are being challenged by Paul Marion and Teddy Stevens.

Town of Tryon

Tryon will also have races for its mayor, council and a special council seat that is for a two-year term to fill a vacancy left by former commissioner Roy Miller, who resigned in June.

Incumbent Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples is being challenged by Jerry Thomas. Incumbent commissioner Bill Ingham is also running along with commissioner Bill Crowell, who was appointed to fill a vacant seat in 2015. Crowell and Ingham are being challenged by Helen Ringus.

The other open seat in Tryon includes Chrelle Booker running, who was appointed to fill the seat until the election, as well as John Fowler who filed to run for the special seat.

Municipal election candidates run non-partisan and no primary election is held.

The general municipal election will be on Tuesday, Nov. 7 with voting being done at each town’s polling place from 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m.

Look for answers from all candidates to questions asked by the Bulletin over the next couple of weeks.

2017 Polk municipal election candidates

Town of Columbus

Mayor: Eric McIntyre (incumbent)

Council: Richard Hall (incumbent)

Brent Jackson

Ernie Kan

Mark Phillips (incumbent)

Marshall “Buddy” Watkins

Robert Williamson

City of Saluda

Mayor: Fred Baisden (incumbent)

Heath Potter

Council: Carolyn Ashburn (incumbent)

Paul Marion

Mark Oxtoby (incumbent)

Teddy Stevens

Town of Tryon

Mayor: Alan Peoples (incumbent)

Jerry Thomas

Council: Bill Crowell

Bill Ingham (incumbent)

Helen Ringus

Vacant council seat:  Chrelle Booker

John Fowler