CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- October doesn't usually elicit thoughts of elections, but this year in Cary some significant races are up for grabs.
Municipal election day in North Carolina this year is Oct. 10. For most districts the elections are primaries, but that's not the case in Cary. For Cary, October represents the general election and November will be reserved for any needed run-off elections.
Longtime Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht is running for re-election unopposed, so while top of the ticket is uneventful, the downballot races are competitive.
In the only other city-wide contest on the ballot, there is a heated race for one of the council's at-large seats. Incumbent Lori Bush is seeking re-election to that seat. Bush said she's shown leadership as Cary has seen rapid expansion.
"I've been a council member for 12 years and I've done it, so I believe I have the experience and knowledge to keep moving Cary forward as we chart our progress forward. We've made huge sustainability progress here that many other municipalities are following, same with affordable housing, our Cary housing plan is now that model for other municipalities, so I think we are leading by example," Bush said.
One challenger, Mary Insprucker, or as she's known from her signs around town "Mary for Cary," said she shares the same concerns but believes her work in the private sector would make her better equipped to handle the growing pains Cary is facing.
"Every candidate is for affordable housing, but I'm the only one who actually oversaw a successful affordable housing program as the regional director for one of the largest nonprofits in the Midwest so I've already done this I've already seen this success, additionally as a consultant to the town of Cary I created a framework for corporate sponsorship of affordable housing so that we can get the corporations involved the solution and not just place it at the feet of taxpayers," Insprucker said.
ABC11 wasn't able to reach a third candidate in that race, Matthew Gronke, also seeking the at-large seat.
Another downballot race drawing a lot of attention is at the district level, where voters have a chance to make history.
In District D, which covers most of west Cary, and has seen rapid growth in part driven by a booming South Asian community, Sarika Bansal could become the first Indian-American elected to the Cary Town Council.
"I think that this will be a good addition and good thing for Cary because western Cary is 50 percent diverse today. So having representation is important making sure that we bring a different flavor to the table and a different perspective," Bansal said.
After Ya Liu was elected to the State House, Ryan Eades was appointed the seat, and is now running for a full term against Bansal and Rachel Jordan.
All three candidates, along with several voters who spoke to ABC11 said responsible growth and development are among their top issues.
No matter who wins, the candidates said they want to make sure the diverse district they'll be representing has a seat at the table.
"It's been great out here meeting a lot of new people hearing what people have to say and just good to be part of the process," Eades said.
"I would give people an option for a more progressive voice on the Cary Council, which I think is important because District D is very international and very progressive," Rachel Jordan said.
In addition to District D, the only other district on the ballot this year is District B which is more of central and downtown Cary. In that race current Mayor Pro Tem Don Frantz is facing off against Michelle Craig.
Early voting is underway through Saturday, Oct. 7. Learn more about early voting here.