Community Owned. Local News. Burke County, NC.

Drexel Candidate profiles: Two compete for Mayor, four for Aldermen

Alderman candidates consider future of downtown, community center


This week, The Paper profiles four candidates seeking a seat on the Drexel Board of Aldermen and two candidates competing for Mayor of Drexel. 

In Drexel, the office of mayor, currently held by Dennis Anthony, and three alderman seats will be on the ticket this November. 

Anthony was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Danny Ritchie and has filed to continue as Mayor of Drexel. Rick Cline, currently serving as a Drexel alderman, has filed to run against Anthony for the mayoral seat which leaves his seat as an alderman open.

In July, Alderman Matt Johnson resigned his seat to seek the position of Drexel Town Manager. His seat is currently vacant.

Scott Coe’s seat is also on the ballot, however, Coe is currently serving the unexpired term of then alderman, Dennis Anthony, who was appointed to serve as Mayor of Drexel. Coe is unopposed and will continue to hold his seat as alderman.

Individuals appointed to a board or council are required to run for their seat in the next scheduled election. Thus, Anthony and Coe are required to run if they desire to continue in their respective offices.

For the candidate profiles featured below, each person was provided with an equal and fair opportunity to respond to the questions specific to their community and given 10 days to complete their responses. 

Alderman candidates Lara Melott, Chelsea Suttles, Allen Reed, and Terry Yount (incumbent) participated in the candidate questionnaire provided by The Paper. Christopher Curtis (Chris) Brown, on the ballot for an alderman seat in Drexel, did not respond and is therefore not included in the profiles. Mayoral candidates Rick Cline and Dennis Anthony (incumbent) also participated in the questionnaire.

Each candidate’s answers are presented here as they were provided to The Paper without editing except in the case where an obvious spelling error was noted. In such cases, the candidate was contacted for clarification.

The Paper’s questions are in bold. Responses are in regular type.

Early voting begins on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 8 a.m. and continues on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, Nov. 2. Early voting is also available on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7. 

There are four locations available for early voting including the Burke County Board of Elections office at 2128 S Sterling St. in the Foothills Education Building in Morganton. 

Other locations are: Burke Senior Citizens Center on North Green Street in Morganton; Rutherford College Town Hall on Malcolm Boulevard; and Hildebran Library and Senior Center in downtown Hildebran.

Pam Walker, the Central Burke Reporter at The Paper, provided the questions for the candidates and compiled the submitted materials and images for this series. She may be reached at or 828-443-6103.

Click on the candidates below to read their responses: