Filing roundup: CH Mayor, school board candidates enter race


By Carl Blankenship

UPDATE July 25: Remaining candidates added.

UPDATE July 20: Additional candidates who have filed have been added to this story and sections have been adjusted accordingly.

ORANGE COUNTY — Candidates are throwing their hats in local races as the filing period continues, including the absent Chapel Hill Mayor and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools races.

This story outlines who has filed up to this point, incumbents who are not seeking reelection. And the absence of filers in the Chapel Hill mayor race. This story will be updated as filing continues, and TLR will submit identical questionnaires to each candidate after filing closes to learn more about them.

Candidates appear in the order listed on the Orange County Board of Elections filing list.


Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education

  • Mariela Hernandez
  • Scott McConnell
  • Hasan Abdullah
  • Jane Gabin
  • Michelle Rissling
  • Barbara Fedders
  • Madison Garcia
  • Honoria Middough
  • Taylor Tally
  • Solomon Gibson
  • Deon Temne
  • Meredith Ballew
  • Lauren Kelly
  • Allison Willis
  • Renee Peet
  • Vickie Feaster Fornville
  • Rani Dasi
  • Linda Mensing-Triplett
  • Ashton Powell

Incumbents Ashton Powell, Deon Temne, as well as board chair Rani Dasi, filed for reelection. The remaining candidates are newcomers. The CHCCS board is somewhat unusual as one of a few special municipal school districts in the state. Most school board elections run parallel with state and federal election cycles.

Chapel Hill Mayor

  • Adam Searing
  • Jess Anderson

Adam Searing and Jess Anderson are incumbent council members. Searing has two years left on his council term and does not risk his seat if he fails to win the mayor race. Anderson’s term ends this year.

Anderson is serving her second term and Searing is serving his first.

Chapel Hill Town Council

  • Breckany Eckhardt
  • Jeffrey Hoagland
  • Renuka Soll
  • Erik Valera
  • David Adams
  • Theodore Nollert
  • Elizabeth Sharp
  • Amy Ryan
  • Melissa McCullough
  • Jon Mitchell

Incumbent Amy Ryan is the only returning candidate so far. Jeffrey Hoagland and Renuka Soll ran for council seats in the past. Hoagland garnered 1.75% of the vote in 2021 and failed to secure a seat. Soll garnered 12.9% of the vote in 2019 and failed to land a seat as well.

All other candidates are newcomers.

Carrboro Mayor

  • Barbara Foushee

Barbara Foushee is the lone candidate for Carrboro Mayor as of Thursday and has served on the town council since 2017. She announced her intention to run for Mayor in May after incumbent Damon Seils announced he does not intend to seek reelection.

Carrboro Town Council

  • Jason Merrill
  • Catherine Fray
  • Eliazar Posada
  • April Mills
  • Stephanie Wade

Eliazar Posada is the lone incumbent running for town council as of Wednesday afternoon. Jason Merrill, Catherine Fray, April Mills and Stephanie Wade are all newcomers to electoral politics in Carrboro. Fray previously served as chair of the town’s planning board and Merrill is the former chair of Chapel Hill’s Transportation Connectivity and Advisory Board.

Hillsborough Mayor

  • Mark Bell

Mark Bell is a two-term Hillsborough commissioner and is seeking the mayor job in lieu of a third term as a commissioner.

Hillsborough Board of Commissioners

  • Evelynn Lloyd
  • Victoria Masika
  • Matt Hughes
  • Meaghun Darab Lloyd, the longest-serving elected official in the town, has served as a commissioner since 1991. Incumbent Mayor Pro Tem Matt Hughes has served on the board since 2018.

Victoria Masika and Meaghun Darab are both newcomers.

Mebane Mayor

  • Ed Hooks

Longtime Mayor Ed Hooks — who has served since 1989 — is on the ballot for another term.

Mebane City Council

  • Katie Burkholder
  • Sean Ewing

Incumbent Sean Ewing is running for a second term after first being elected in 2019. Katie Burholder is running for a full term after being appointed to a 2022 council vacancy left by Patty Phillipps.


Candidates have until noon on July 21 to file for this year’s municipal cycle, but several incumbents have announced they do not intend to run.

In Chapel Hill, Tai Huynh and Michael Parker will not seek reelection to the town council. Huynh was first elected in 2019 when he was still a UNC-Chapel Hill student and Parker is serving his second term.

Longtime Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger announced she will not run again July 19.

Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils will not seek reelection after one term and Carrboro Mayor Pro Tem Susan Romaine will not seek reelection after a single term as well. Sammy Slade, who has served on the Carrboro council for 14 years, is the latest incumbent to announce he will not seek reelection.

Did we miss anyone? Let us know at

Correction: A previous version of this story mistakenly stated Jess Anderson’s Chapel Hill Town Council term runs through 2025. The Local Reporter regrets the error.

Michelle Cassell contributed to this story

Disclosure: Adam Searing is a former member of The Local Reporter’s advisory committee and a monthly donor.

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