FROM STAFF REPORTS
Former Statesville city councilman and mayoral candidate Michael Johnson has publicly endorsed Mayor Costi Kutteh in Tuesday’s run-off election.
Kutteh, who is seeking a fifth term in office, defeated Johnson and Brian Summers in the May election, but did not win a large enough percentage of the votes to avoid a run-off.
The run-off election is scheduled for Tuesday, July 26. Polls will be open at all precincts in the City of Statesville on Election Day from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Johnson, who narrowly lost to Kutteh in a run-off during the last municipal election cycle before finishing third this time around, announced his endorsement Friday afternoon.
“Over the years, Mayor Kutteh and I have had different perspectives, leadership styles, initiatives, and focus on how to move Statesville forward,” Johnson said in a statement. “But at this time, I believe Costi Kutteh’s municipal experience and understanding will best serve the city during the next 3 years.”
“I have voted for Costi Kutteh as mayor and urge you to do the same.”
Mayor Pro Tem also endorses incumbent
Current Mayor Pro Tem William Morgan also publicly expressed his support for Kutteh in Tuesday’s run-off.
“As we look forward as a city, it is my opinion that the best person in this election to serve as our mayor is without a doubt Costi Kutteh. … I urge you to join me in voting for Costi Kutteh for mayor,” Morgan said in a Facebook post Friday afternoon.
Morgan, who has served two terms on the City Council, finished fourth in an eight-candidate race for two at-large seats. He decided not to participate in the run-off.
Early voting ends on Saturday. Ballots can be cast at the Board of Elections Office at Stockton Street in Statesville from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Michael Johnson’s Full Statement
To everyone who supported me in my campaign for mayor of Statesville please accept my very heartfelt thanks. Your generosity and kindness are at the center of what makes Statesville such a special place to call home.
City voters have narrowed the field of mayoral candidates down to two for the upcoming election on July 26 and I respect their decision. There are no perfect candidates in any political race. The great thing about our American system is that the will of the majority always prevails. We each have a responsibility to make a choice and vote.
Over the years, Mayor Kutteh and I have had different perspectives, leadership styles, initiatives, and focus on how to move Statesville forward.
But at this time, I believe Costi Kutteh’s municipal experience and understanding will best serve the city during the next 3 years.
I have voted for Costi Kutteh as mayor and urge you to do the same.
Michael Johnson, former Statesville City Council member