Mayoral Candidate Jim Thompson looks for election


Town Commissioner Jim Thompson with his portrait. Thompson is running for Mayor in the 2017 election.

Town Commissioner Jim Thompson is hoping to secure the spot as mayor of Wake Forest in the Nov. 7 election. Thompson hopes that his experience as a commissioner will allow him to propel the town into the rapidly advancing 21st century.

In order to promote his message and boost voter turnout, Thompson is making his face and message known to town residents.

“I am going door-to-door to talk with voters. I have been using social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) to talk about issues I feel are important and also trying to engage citizens in a dialogue there as well,” Thompson said. “I am doing mailings and advertising in Wake Weekly. I am also having folks host ‘Meet and Greets’. Again, I am doing about everything I can think of doing.”

Because of his concerted efforts, Thompson feels optimistic about the upcoming election.

“I feel really positive about it, mainly because I feel I have a good message about advancing Wake Forest, and it appears to be resonating with people that I speak with,” Thompson said.

If elected, Thompson’s goal is to implement plans that improve the functioning of the government and boost the success of the town.

“I would like for us to try and get ahead of the growth here in Wake Forest. I feel like we have been allowing growth to control us rather than us controlling it,” Thompson said. “For example, there are very few towns our size that don’t have a comprehensive land use plan. Documents like that are crucial for some many things — economic development, open space, transportation, housing, etc. We are already way behind in developing this document and we need to act now.”

To execute his plan, Thompson has two main goals to complete during his first 100 days in office.

“One of my first things I would do as Mayor would be to figure out how we can honor Mayor Vivian Jones for her 16 plus years of service to our town,” Thompson said. “Following that, I would spend the first 100 days getting a plan together for the next few years and that would involve many crucial conversations with town staff, our board of commissioners and other key stakeholders.”

Along with his idea to have a town land use plan, Thompson personally would like to see a town that is easily traversed.

“I would love to see us be a community that was connected in a way that you could get from north to south or east to west without getting in your car,” Thompson said.

Thompson’s family has supported him throughout his life and in his current mayoral endeavors.

” My parents, my wife and my kids are my biggest influencers. They have always been so supportive of me and believed it me, even when I have had doubts. They serve as great sounding boards. They say it takes a village. Well, they are my village,” Thompson said.

Through the support of his loved ones and experience in the government, Thompson has learned how to effectively manage his career and his personal life.

“I don’t sleep very much, and I love coffee. Seriously, I have a great family who is super supportive me and the things I do in my work and political life. I rely heavily on technology to try and work smarter not harder. It’s not always easy. And above all else, I am encouraged by my faith and know that God never gives you more than you can’t handle,” Thompson said.

If elected, Thompson will have to take on many new responsibilities. To prepare for this transition, Thompson has already reached out to his support group.

“I have already prepared my family, friends and co-workers and everyone is extremely supportive. The rest is up to me. I am ready if given the chance to serve,” Thompson said.

Even though Thompson believes he can successfully serve as the town mayor, taking on such a big job has brought on some minor apprehensions.

“I want our town to be successful, and I want to leave it better than I found it and so, there is that fear of messing things up. I am very confident in my abilities, but there is always that little fear inside that can get to you,” Thompson said.

If not involved in politics, Thompson’s career would be drastically different.

“OK, kind of goofy, but I have always wanted to be a meteorologist. I love watching the Weather Channel or Greg Fishel (WRAL) during storms and get really geeked out by them. I would love to do a ride along with a storm chaser,” Thompson said.

Despite his interested in storms, Thompson is invested in his job.

“I love talking to people and serving people. I am one of those elected officials who gets offended by the word politician. I much prefer the term, public servant. That’s truly how I see myself as someone who serves the citizens who elected me,” Thompson said.

Thompson is prepared to accept the position of mayor with open arms if elected Nov. 7.

Thompson said, “I am willing to offer all of me. My very best effort. All the time. I curse the phrase, ‘We’ve always done it that way!’. However, I don’t believe in change for change’s sake. I will commit to listening twice as much as I talk.”