TAR HEEL, NC (WWAY) — The deadline to run for municipal elections has ended and one community will have a blank ballot come November. The small town of Tar Heel in Bladen County has no one running for mayor or any of the three council positions and the deadline for municipal filings has not been extended.
Despite the uncertainty, Mayor Ricky Martin thinks it means the community is doing well. Martin and the three other council members will not be running for re-election.
“To me, they’re proud of what we’ve done,” said Martin. “Nobody wanted to come and voice their opinion against us. Nobody wanted to run against us.”
Martin says he is moving out of town and won’t be able to run for a second term. Mike Underwood, a former council member says there’s just a lack of interest in the community.
“The tax base is real low,” said Underwood. “No money to do anything with, you feel useless at times.”
Even though the ballots in November will be blank, there is still a way to elect candidates.
“You still have write-in candidates,” said Ray Britt, Chairman of the Bladen County Board of Elections. “Anybody can be written in on a ballot and they’ve had people that have won before being a write-in.”
Britt says Tar Heel has had several write-in candidates. However, Underwood says he’s unsure if all positions will even be filled.
“Most people here want to have things and want to progress but are really unwilling to put in the extra effort with which it takes,” said Underwood.
Britt says there is a possibility that write-in candidates could decline a position, which would leave that spot vacant.