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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Ural Harris to run for city council

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Martinsville City Council race in the Nov. 4 election has its first official candidate.

Ural E. Harris of 217 Stuart St. has submitted the required paperwork to be on the ballot, both he and city Registrar Cindy Barbour confirmed Thursday.

Harris, 67, is a retired furniture worker.

The council seats now held by Kim Adkins and Gene Teague will be up for grabs. Currently, Adkins is the mayor and Teague is the vice mayor. Those positions are elected from among council members every two years.

Teague said he plans to seek re-election although he has not submitted his paperwork yet. He has about 16 years of experience on the council. Voters have elected him several times, and he has twice been appointed to fill seats that other council members vacated.

Adkins, who is in her first four-year term on the council, has said she will not seek re-election. She instead is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the 20th District state Senate seat in 2015.

Harris said he plans to formally announce his candidacy at 11 a.m. Monday on the front steps of the municipal building on West Church Street uptown.

He frequently speaks during “business from the floor” at council meetings, criticizing how city business is handled, especially with electricity issues.

When seeking answers to his questions, “I just get tired of hearing the same thing over and over again,” Harris said in a phone interview Thursday. “I just don’t feel like they (city officials) have been as open and responsive ... as they should have been” to public concerns about issues.

The deadline to file to be an official city council candidate is 7 p.m. June 10, Barbour said.

To file a candidacy, a registered voter must stop by the registrar’s office at the municipal building to pick up a packet of required forms, or the forms can be obtained online at Scroll down to “electoral information” and then “information on candidate qualifications and requirements,” then click on the link to the state elections board’s website.

Required forms include a declaration of candidacy, a statement showing the candidate’s qualifications for running for office and a petition that must be signed by at least 125 registered city voters, according to Barbour.

Forms obtained online are free, but there is a $10 charge for packets picked up at the registrar’s office to cover paper and copying costs, she said.

After the forms are filled out and the person’s petition is signed by at least 125 voters, the person must file the paperwork with the registrar’s office.


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