Among the 11th-hour filings for the Greensboro City Council race, some surprises surface.
The marquee story is in the at-large race, where among the usual gang — incumbents Yvonne Johnson and Marikay Abuzuaiter; old hands like Mike Barber, Jean Brown and Chris Lawyer; and "Who Dat?" candidates like Marlando Pridgen and Joseph Landis — are a couple of familiar names.
My old friend Ben Holder, AKA the Troublemaker, has thrown his hat into the ring. I hear he's getting an "S" tattooed on his chest to get properly fired up for the race.
And young activist/journalist/scenester Katei Cranford has decided to get into the game, too. Just one of the fascinating things about her is that she's the niece of Billy "Crash" Craddock.
There are no surprises in districts 1 and 2. In D-1, incumbents Dianne Bellamy-Small has jazz singer and activist Tigress McDaniel and city insider Sharon Hightower looking to take the throne. In D-2 no one has challenged Jamal Fox's move for Jim Kee's seat.In District 3, Zack Matheny will defend his seat against Corey Pisher and Wendell Roth.
John Underwood has joined the fray between D-4 incumbent Nancy Hoffmann and former mayor Bill Knight.
And in District 5, Tony Wilkins, who was appointed to his seat after Sen. Trudy Wade took statewide office, faces shapeshifter Sal Leone and another new name, my old friend Alex Seymour.
I worked with Alex at Bert's Seafood Grille years ago, and we remain friends. He's become active in city government on a grassroots level, and is a fixture (or, at least, he was) in the beard and bluegrass scenes.
Consider this a disclosure. Of course, I've known Wilkins (and most of the other people running) for years, as well.