seven candidates are running for two Graham City Council seats – Burlington Times News

Two seats are up for grabs in the upcoming Graham City Council election this November with Councilmember Melody Wiggins the only incumbent running for her position.
Absentee voting for the municipal elections began last week, while early voting began Oct. 14 and runs through Oct. 30. This year, election day is Tuesday, Nov. 2, and polls will open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. 
You can vote at any of these locations:  Graham Civic Center, Graham Recreation Center, Bethany Presbyterian Church, R. Homer Andrews Elementary School, Fellowship Baptist Church, Hawfields Middle School and Haw River Civic Center
Recently, the Times-News reached out to all the city council candidates and published the response of those who answered: 
Jeanette E. Beaudry
Retired Flight Attendant
I am a candidate for Graham City Council because I care about my hometown and it’s future. I want Graham to remain a safe and comfortable place to live, raise a family, do business and grow old in.
Graham is at a crossroads. We are growing fast, but we need it to be smart growth. We must keep up with the need for more personnel and services if we want to continue to grow wisely. We need to move forward with our infrastructure needs as we continue to grow, while we also protect our historic downtown and homes that make Graham unique.
I would like to be the one to help decide these issues in Graham’s future. I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 2.
Edith Montoya
 I am 23 years old and have been a resident of Graham all my life. I attended Graham middle and graduated from Graham high in 2015. Then I went to Alamance community college for two years and then transferred to UNC-Greensboro. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business administration last year in 2020. I am currently working as a Mobile notary signing agent. I have a three-year old daughter who I adore so much.
She is one of the reasons I decided to step up and run for Graham city council. I want her to grow up in an area where she will be safe and treated equally. Also, most of my family members live here in Graham and I want to reassure them that their voice matters and that it’s important to speak up. I want to be the voice of all the minorities that are not being heard and represented equally.
Our city council needs to be more diverse. Now more than ever Graham needs a voice that can relate to all the Latinos and African American Communities; a voice from a female minority that supports equality and rights for all. I want to make sure that the minority community is being treated and represented equally. It is so important that we all have a seat at the table.
My priorities include:
• Listening to and addressing the concerns of our residents,
• Improving community safety and trust, and involvement.
• Working to create a balanced and thriving city economy.
Addressing these priorities will help to improve relationships in our community and build a stronger sense of community in Graham. I am hoping to make the council more diverse and be a voice for all. It is time to make changes in the city of Graham!
Joseph A. Parsons
 Field Claims Adjuster for National General Insurance
I am running for Graham City Council because I believe: 
•    We need to support our Police and First Responders by providing them with the funding, personnel, equipment, and training that they need to keep our city safe.
•    The needs and concerns of the Citizens of Graham are important. Every decision that the Council makes should have a positive impact on the residents. Every person should be treated with dignity and respect regardless of any differences we may have.
•    We need a plan for responsible growth and development. We need to be proactive and determine what is best for existing communities, what the roads can handle safely, the capacity of our schools and the impact on infrastructure. This will allow Graham to determine what is best for our residents, not outside developers. Growth should be about what is best for the residents and not just tax revenue.
•    We must support small businesses. We should work with them to assure they have what they need to be successful to keep our downtown growing and vibrant.
Melody Wiggins
“I am running for re-election because I care deeply about the city of Graham and everyone living in it. I have decades of experience working within the city as the Director of Parks and Recreation. During that time I was able to expand services, bring in new programs, build partnerships, and renovate older facilities as well as build new ones. I balanced the budget and brought more than 3 million dollars in grants to the city.  These past four years on the council I have continued the fight to improve our economic development, support our small businesses, and improve the city infrastructure, public safety, and overall quality of life for our citizens. I plan on making our city stronger through smart, efficient, and most importantly, transparent government. If you see me around the city, feel free to ask me anything and be sure to let me know how I can help you. You can also reach me at”