In an unexpected announcement – at the end of Monday night’s town council meeting – Mayor Ronnie Williams said he would run for re-election when his term expires in December.
The filing period for municipal elections begins July 6 and ends July 17.
“We’re within sixty days of filing for office and what may come as a surprise to some of y’all, I’m running for re-election,” he announced. “Is that a surprise? My fourth term.”
The announcement was kind of random, but council members didn’t really seem surprised. There were only two members of the public in the meeting at the time.
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Williams smiled before quickly changing the subject.
Williams has served as the mayor of Garner since 2005. Of the 12 municipalities in Wake County, Williams has served the fifth longest.
Prior to being elected Mayor, he served as an alderman for 20 years, from 1985-2005.
“When I first ran for mayor in 2005 I promised the citizens of Garner I would be a full-time mayor,” Williams said in an interview. “Many of my days begin at seven in the morning and end at 10 at night.
“I serve as mayor for two reasons: I want to make a difference and I enjoy my job,” he said.
Williams said it hasn’t always been easy. During the ConAgra explosion, he said he slept three hours in three days. He said he wanted to be there for the families.
“There are projects in the town I want to see completed, in addition to the YMCA,” Williams said. “Specifically the police station, town hall and the recreation center.
“Garner’s best days are to come and I want to be around for them.”
Ken Marshburn, Jackie Johns and Buck Kennedy’s terms as council members will also expire in December.
Buck Kennedy said that he “likely will” file for re-election.
Ken Marshburn said the same.
“In all likelihood, is where I would describe where I’m at,” Marshburn said. “I’m pretty excited about things going on in the town. I’d love to do another term and continue to do some of the work we started.”
Johns said that he definitely plans to file for re-election. He has served on the council for almost 32 years.
He echoed Marshburn’s sentiments about the things going on in Garner and said “I think the board has worked well together.”
“I think we have some things we need to complete while this board is in session,” Johns said.
The current board has served together for eight years.