A month after four-term Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne announced that he would not seek re-election, four candidates have announced they will run for the city's top seat.
Fayetteville businessman Kirk deViere announced Thursday his intention to run for mayor. The announcement came just a day after City Councilwoman Val Applewhite declared her interest in the seat.
Last week, former city Councilman Paul Williams announced his candidacy on Christian radio station WIDU-1600 AM. And former four-term Councilman Nat Robertson said he would run for mayor again -- Robertson unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2011.
DeViere, a former chairman of the Fayetteville Regional Chamber of Commerce, is also an Army veteran and said the military brought him to the city but he now "proudly" calls Fayetteville his home.
"I chose to enter into business here, to volunteer with local non-profits and other civic-minded organizations to help this city become a better place to live and work," said deViere, who is registered unaffiliated. "This is where I met and married my wife, Jenny Beaver deViere. It's where I met new friends and renewed old friendships. This is the city that has offered me the opportunity to succeed."
Applewhite, meanwhile, announced Wednesday that she would not seek re-election to Fayetteville City Council. Like deViere, Applewhite is a military veteran, having previously served in the Air Force.
"After receiving an abundance of support from this community to seek higher office, I feel I have an obligation to provide new ways to make our government accountable to its citizens," said Applewhite, a Democrat. "This very notion has driven my decision to announce my candidacy for mayor."
Williams, also a Democrat, served on the City Council from 1997 until 1999, and then again from 2003 until 2007.
Robertson had previously said he would again run for mayor after an unsuccessful bid in 2011. The Republican candidate served on the City Council for three consecutive terms from 1989 until 1995 and a fourth in 1999.
"I enter this mayor's race with eight years of experience. I know how the city should run and I recognize the difficulties incurred when trying to do business with the city government," Robertson said.
Chavonne announced April 2 that he would not seek re-election for a fifth term. Chavonne was elected mayor of Fayetteville in 2005 and the city has seen a population growth of 50,000 residents since he took office.
"I will continue to focus my attention on implementing the strategic goals of the City and working with the City Council and others to address our challenges and take advantage of the many opportunities we enjoy," Chavonne said at the time
The candidate filing period does not begin until July 5. Election Day is Nov. 5.