Former District 5 Greensboro City Councilmember Tony Wilkins has announced he will be running for his old District 5 seat in the March 2022 City Council election.
Wilkins represented District 5 on the City Council from 2012 to 2017 when he lost to District 5 City Councilmember Tammi Thurm. Wilkins was originally appointed to replace Trudy Wade after she won election to the North Carolina state Senate in 2012. Wilkins then won election to two-year terms in 2013 and 2015 and was defeated in 2017, the first time the City Council ran for four-year terms.
It looks like the District 5 race in 2022 will be a rematch of the 2017 election. However filing for the City Council races won’t open until Dec. 6, 2021 or Jan. 3, 2022, which provides plenty of time for other candidates to get in the race.
The official announcement states that Wilkins is running on a platform to improve public safety and Wilkins said, “A safe city is a business friendly city.”
According to the press release Wilkins “has been enthusiastically endorsed by the Greensboro Police Officers Association and financially backed by four former Greensboro Police Department Chiefs.”
Wilkins has also been endorsed by North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson who lives in Greensboro.
It has taken a while for Wilkins to reach this decision. In April 2019, Wilkins announced he was running for mayor in 2021. However, with Mayor Nancy Vaughan running for reelection and being challenged by District 3 City Councilmember Justin Outling, Wilkins decided to run for a seat on the City Council.
And in January Wilkins announced he would be running for City Council in 2021. At the time no one knew the election would be delayed to 2022, but Wilkins said that there were a lot of variables to consider before he made a decision whether he would run at large or for the District 5 seat.
One of those variables was decided last week when Gov. Roy Cooper said he was going to allow Senate Bill 722 to become law without his signature, which delayed the City Council district races until March 2022.
But there is another major variable that won’t be decided until after the 2020 Census figures are released and that is redistricting. It is almost a certainty that the City Council will draw new council districts after the Census figures are released, so at this point nobody knows where the new City Council district boundaries are going to be.
Wilkins is betting he will still be in District 5.