West Ward challenger sets up a Republican primary

Winston-Salem Councilman Robert C. Clark will have a Republican primary challenger in the West Ward.

Howard Hudson, a retired lawyer, filed for the seat today.

Hudson said the primary reason for his challenge is that Clark has voted to raise taxes for the past two years while approving spending on what the candidate considers "questionable and even frivolous capital projects." BB&T Ballpark, Union Station, a joint city-county shooting range for law enforcement personnel and the purchase of energy-efficient buses. He also opposes development of a streetcar system, which council has been considering over the past couple years.

"I actually have swapped a number of e-mails with Mr. Clark over the past four years," Hudson said. "I asked him not to vote for an 8-percent tax increase. He did. I wrote him an e-mail about that. He said there really is a tax decrease for 60 percent of property owners and some property owners will see a tax increase."

The 2013 Forsyth County tax revaluation resulted in some property owners' tax bills going up and others going down, depending on whether their properties gained or lost valuation.

"In the e-mail, on the bottom line Mr. Clark basically said property owners in the West Ward and in the other contiguous wards that will see a tax increase should be happy because the equity in our homes did not drop," Hudson continued. "I found that rather abrasive."

Two Democrats, incumbent Allen Joines and challenger Gardenia Henley, filed for mayor today, setting up a contested primary. Joines is completing his third term. Henley has run unsuccessfully for NC House and governor, and has investigated alleged improprieties in the Forsyth County Board of Elections and Winston-Salem Sanitation Division.

Dan Besse, a Democrat who current represents the Southwest Ward, filed for reelection today, and Democrat Jeff MacIntosh filed for the open Northwest Ward seat. Both are unopposed so far.

South Ward Councilwoman Molly Leight, a Democrat, plans to file tomorrow.


Research candidates for Winston-Salem City Council at YES! Weekly's online voter guide, Triad Elections '13.

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