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Retired educator seeks council seat
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer
A retired educator is the second person to file to run for a Martinsville City Council seat in the Nov. 4 election.
John McCraw, 71, of Meadowview Lane, submitted his paperwork to the city registrar’s office on Monday.
He joins retired furniture worker Ural Harris of Stuart Street in the council race.
Council seats now held by Kim Adkins and Gene Teague are up for grabs. Adkins, who currently is mayor, has announced she will not seek a second four-year term because she plans to run for the 20th District state Senate seat in 2015. Teague, the current vice mayor, has said he aims to seek re-election, but he has not submitted his paperwork yet.
McCraw spent 41 years with the city schools as a government teacher and later as an assistant principal at Martinsville High School. After he retired, he spent six years as assistant principal of Morehead High School in Eden, N.C.
Because of his extensive interest in government, “I thought I could make a difference,” McCraw said, explaining why he is running for the council.
He declined to discuss his positions on city issues until after the registrar’s office scrutinizes voters’ signatures on his candidacy petition to make sure they are all valid and he is certified as an official candidate.
McCraw said he has an associate degree from Ferrum College, a bachelor’s degree from Emory & Henry College, a master’s degree from the University of Virginia, a doctorate from Virginia Tech, a law degree from La Salle Extension University and a certificate of studies from Oxford University.
McCraw’s wife, Carolyn, also a retired educator, is on the Martinsville School Board. The council appoints school board members.
City Attorney Eric Monday said no automatic conflict of interest would exist if McCraw were to join the council and his wife were to remain on the school board.
To avoid a conflict, “he would not be able to vote on reappointing her to the school board” when her term expires, Monday said.
However, McCraw would be able to vote on matters involving local funding that the council provides the school system, Monday added.
McCraw ran for a Henry County Board of Supervisors seat in 1971 when he lived in the Laurel Park area. He then ran for council seats in 1976 and 1978 after he moved to Martinsville. He was unsuccessful in each effort.
The deadline to file to run for a council seat is 7 p.m. June 10, according to city Registrar Cindy Barbour.
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 may be obtained online at www.martinsville-va.gov/Registrar.html. 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 Martinsville voters.
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, Barbour 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.