Here are the candidates running for election in Fayetteville in 2020

File photo

The candidate filing period for municipal races ended at noon Wednesday, leaving a list of people who hope to win seats in the Nov. 3 election.

As always, we’ll have ongoing coverage of the election in the coming months, including more information about the candidates.

For now, here’s a rundown of who’s running this year.

City Clerk

City Clerk Kara Paxton is the only unchallenged candidate in Fayetteville.

Paxton was selected in December to serve the remainder of the term held by Sondra Smith, who died in October at age 65 after over 17 years with the city.


Mayor Lioneld Jordan is seeking a fourth term this year. Others filing for the position include Ron Baucom, William Harris and Tom Terminella.

It’s the second time Baucom and Terminella have challenged the incumbent mayor. Jordan won a third term in 2016 after taking nearly 70 percent of the votes and defeating Terminella, who had 27% of the votes and Baucom who had 3% of the votes.

Jordan has been present for all 291 council meetings since 2008 for a 100% attendance rate. He was also present for all 238 council meetings during his eight-year run as a Council Member in Ward 4.

Ward 1

In Ward 1, four people filed for the position to replace outgoing Council Member Sarah Marsh, who did not file for re-election.

Marsh was first elected to the council in 2012 as an unchallenged candidate. She was then re-elected in 2016 after taking 66% of the votes against Paul Phaneuf.

She has been present for 176 out of 192 council meetings for a 92% attendance record.

Marsh said that after eight years of service, she plans to focus on her career and would like more flexibility to travel.

Those filing for the Ward 1 seat this year include Pedro Fimbres, D’Andre Jones, Oroo Oyioka and Tanner Pettigrew.

Ward 2

Council Member Matthew Petty is seeking a fourth term in Ward 2.

Petty was first elected to the council in 2008 after defeating Mark Kinion, and was re-elected in 2012 with a victory over Adam Fire Cat and Ryan Abshire. Petty won a third term in 2016 with 60% of the votes against Gary McHenry.

Petty has been present for 265 out of 291 council meetings for a 91% attendance rate.

Challenging Petty this year is William Chesser, who ran for a Ward 4 seat in 2012.

It was a crowded field that year with five people vying for the position, including Terry Black Coberly, Mike Emery, Alan Long and J.P. Peters. Chesser received 9% of the votes in 2012 with Long eventually winning a runoff election against Emery.

Chesser also ran for County Assessor in 2018, but lost to Russel Hill, who took 56% of the votes.

Ward 3

In Ward 3, Council Member Sarah Bunch seeks a second term in her position.

Bunch was elected in 2016 after defeating Tracy Hoskins in a runoff election to replace outgoing Council Member Martin Schoppmeyer. Bunch took 63% of the votes in that decision which followed a three-person race that also included candidate Benjamin Harrison.

Bunch has been present for 91 out of 93 meetings for a 98% attendance rate.

She’ll face resident Peter Tonnessen in November.

Ward 4

Kyle Smith hopes to continue in his Ward 4 seat for the next four years.

Smith was appointed to the council in 2017 to fill a vacant seat left by Alan Long, who resigned after 11 months into his second term.

Smith has since been present for all 70 council meetings for a 100% attendance rate.

He’ll face Adam Fire Cat, a longtime political candidate who ran unsuccessful campaigns for City Council in 2018, 2012 and 2010. He filed in 2016, but withdrew his candidacy after moving to another ward. Cat also ran for mayor in 2008.

Others filing for the Ward 4 seat include Holly Hertzberg and Paul Waddell.