Tony Millner was not certified as a candidate for Martinsville City Council in November because he was short two signatures on his paperwork, said Martinsville Registrar Cindy Barbour.
Five people have been certified as official candidates: Jennifer Bowles of Roundabout Road, Ural Harris of Stuart Street, Tim Martin of Mulberry Road, John McCraw Jr. of Meadowview Lane and Gene Teague of Hunting Ridge Road.
Certification means a candidate’s name will appear on the ballot.
The paperwork had to include petitions signed by at least 125 people registered to vote in Martinsville. Millner got 123 signatures, Barbour said.
Millner, 73, a bail bondsman, submitted his candidacy paperwork on Tuesday, the filing deadline.
“I should have gotten started earlier,” he said Friday. “I should have had someone with me to check every piece of paper. This is my first time running for public office.”
“I enjoyed it. I learned a lot,” Millner said. He added that he found out a lot of people wanted to vote for him. “The good Lord willing,” he said, maybe he will run again in the future.
“I hope I inspired people to vote,” he added.
Millner said his residence was on Jones Street when he filed the paperwork, but he has just moved back to Henry County.
In a previous interview, Millner said he was inspired to run for a council seat in part due to concerns he has about Martinsville’s west side, a largely minority neighborhood. Those concerns include a lack of sidewalks on some streets and the possible closing of the city housing office. He added Friday that he is concerned about electric bills and wants to attract more jobs to the area.
Two city council seats are up for grabs in the Nov. 4 election — ones now held by incumbent Teague, the current vice mayor, and Kim Adkins, who is the mayor. Adkins said she would not seek a second four-year term on the council because she aims to run for the 20th District state Senate seat in 2015.
When asked why she is running for council, Bowles, 24, said, “I thought this was a good opportunity to serve my community.” She said she was encouraged to run for office and has no specific agenda.
She graduated in May from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in African American studies and is seeking employment. She graduated from Martinsville High School in 2007 and worked her way through college, including working as a sales representative for the Lester Group from August 2011 through March 2012, she said.
At MHS, she was president of the Student Council Association; a Big M Trophy recipient; a member of the National Honor Society, the National Vocational Technical Honor Society and the National Society of Black Engineers; and was named first team all-district in softball, she said. She also played softball for two years at U.Va.