HP Mayor Sims, Councilman Douglas Won't Seek Re-Election

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- High Point Mayor Bernita Sims and Councilman Foster Douglas are not running for re-election.The deadline to file for High Point City Council was noon on Friday.

WFMY News 2's Morgan Hightower was at the Guilford County Elections Office in High Point to see if either politician would make a last-minute filing, but neither showed up. For both politicians, it's been quite a year.

Mayor Sims turned herself into authorities last November after she was indicted by the state, accused of writing a bad check worth more than $7,000 to a family member. Before she did that, 6 out of the 9 city council members made a formal request, asking for her resignation.

READ: High Point City Council Votes 6-3 For Mayor Sims to Resign

In August, Sims finally paid an outstanding $538.73 dollar utility bill she owed the city for nearly a year.

Councilman Douglas has had his own share of financial trouble. Douglas allowed a federal judgment to grow from $19,000 to $32,000 because he didn't pay it. Ten years ago, a judge ordered he and his brother to pay the city's legal fees after losing a lawsuit. The city renewed its efforts to get its money back last summer, after Douglas requested taxpayer money to cover a trip for a conference in Seattle.

READ:Neighbors of Councilman Douglas Say They "Never See Him"

Guilford County Sheriff Deputies tried to serve him his notice of rights at his home on Scientific Street 5 times before eventually having to serve him at City Hall. The day before his house was going to be auctioned to cover his debt, Douglas filed personal bankruptcy. That filing eventually cleared the decade-old debt.

READ: Judge: HP Councilman Does Not Have to Pay Debt

"I think that there were a lot of citizens during the course of the last year and a half what have asked me… what's the deal with Foster I guess in that sense, it will be good to not have to answer those questions in the future," explained Councilman Jay Wagner, High Point City Council, Ward 4.

Councilman Jay Wagner says Douglas nor Sims told him they weren't running for re-election. Wagner said, "It really is a hard decision and I can see how someone would wrestle with it up until the last minute."

WFMY News 2 reached out to Douglas, but has not heard back from him.

READ:2014 General Election - High Point City Council Filings

Mayor Sims returned WFMY News 2's Morgan Hightower calls after this report aired.

Mayor Sims says she was waiting until the last minute to decide what she'd do - but said she had been leaning for some time against running.

When asked why she didn't make a public announcement about not running, she said, "not filing speaks for itself."

Mayor Sims says she does not think she is done with politics in general, but says she is done with municipal politics.

For now, Sims says she's trying to figure out her next move.


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