Mayor Allen Joines of Winston-Salem kicked off his campaign for a sixth term on Wednesday, following up on a video announcement in which he said he wants to work on such challenges as poverty, homelessness, housing and education.
In an interview with the Journal, Joines said he did “a lot of soul searching” before deciding to run again in 2020.
“I didn’t take it lightly,” Joines said. “I spent a lot of time talking with community leaders, neighborhood leaders and business folks, to make sure there was support and that I could bring something to the table. I did some soul searching to make sure I can be as excited and energetic as I was in my first term.”
At 71, Joines said, he’s fit: He takes four or five days each spring and fall to hike 40 to 50 miles at a time on the Appalachian Trail. Health Fitness Revolution named him one of the 25 fittest mayors in the country, he said.
In his video, Joines said he’s proud of what he’s done as mayor, but that he wants to focus more on goals such as increasing investment by existing businesses and encouraging the growth of small and start-up businesses.
Joines said he had his first fund-raiser on Wednesday, and he has a Facebook page and web site up and running.
Joines, a Democrat, already has one opponent, JoAnne Allen, who announced last month that she would run for the office.
Joines is the president of the Winston-Salem Alliance, a nonprofit corporation that works to promote business in the city. Before that, he was deputy city manager of Winston-Salem. He spent 30 years working for the city before leaving to head the Alliance.
Joines has never had a close race. He crushed then-incumbent Mayor Jack Cavanagh to win his first term in 2001, taking 78 percent of the vote. No opponent has come closer than that since then.