GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – One race for Greensboro City Council was decided Tuesday when a candidate announced he has cancer and is withdrawing from the race.

Zack Matheny

Chip Roth, a finalist for the open seat in District 3, revealed in a press release that he is ending his bid and throwing his support behind Zack Matheny, who formerly held the seat and who took 61.6% of the vote in the primary on May 17.

Roth says he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and that after treatment and recovery he planned to seek to serve again. He thanked all of his supporters and wished all the candidates well.

“This is a critical time for me to focus on my physical and mental health rather than to commit my energy to pursuing public office,” Roth wrote in his release. “As much as I love Greensboro and want to contribute to building new opportunities for its residents, I know that my personal priorities must change now. The wonderful people of Greensboro deserve nothing less than the full, undistracted commitment of those who seek lead our city.

“For this reason, I am instructing the Guilford County Board of Elections to remove my name from the ballot for the July 26 General Election.”

Guilford County Elections Director Charlie Collicutt did not respond immediately to explain what would happen on the ballot, but Roth said he had been told that only Matheny’s name would be listed.

Roth took 28.27% of the votes in the primary, and Bill Marshburn had 10.57%.

Matheny had represented District 3 from 2005 to 2015, when he resigned and became president of Downtown Greensboro Inc. Justin Outling, who had taken over after Matheny, is challenging incumbent Nancy Vaughan for mayor.

Matheny, who had lost his wife, Lauren, to cancer in 2020, said his first thoughts were for Roth and his family.

“My thoughts go to Chip, [his wife] Denise, and [his son] Connor,” Matheny told WGHP in an email. “Chip and I had a good conversation, and I know he will be successful in his fight.  While I didn’t expect to win the election this way, I know Chip’s passion for Greensboro will continue and he will give much of his time in the near future to making Greensboro successful. 

“In addition, I appreciate his support moving forward. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as he fights this entirely new battle.” 

In endorsing Matheny, Roth said, “He has the strong experience to represent well the people of District 3. I also believe that he shares my commitment to improving economic development and public safety across the city.”

Said Matheny: “I look forward to once again representing District 3 and focusing on my priorities of public safety, economic development, and fiscal responsibility. I urge all of my supporters, and Chip’s supporters, to continue to vote on July 26 as there are many other elections at stake.

“I will continue my campaign in the hopes of educating the community on the impending election and further sharing my goals moving forward.”

Here are the candidates on the ballot on July 26 in the city of Greensboro

  • Mayor: Justin Outling (35.27%) and Nancy Vaughan (44.97%).
  • City Council At-large (3 seats): Incumbents Marikay Abuzuaiter (16.39%), Hugh Holston (10.04%) and Yvonne Johnson (24.99%) and challengers Tracy Furman (10.24%), Katie Rossabi (9.84%) and Linda Wilson (9.55%).
  • City Council District 1: Incumbent Sharon Hightower (77.98%) and Felton Foushee (12.94%).
  • City Council District 2: Incumbent Goldie Wells (42.61%) and Cecile “CC” Crawford (29.82%).
  • City Council District 3: Matheny.
  • City Council District 4: Incumbent Nancy Hoffman and Thurston H. Reeder Jr. (no primary).
  • City Council District 5: Incumbent Tammi Z. Thurm (45.39%) and Tony Wilkins (42.22%).