Mayor Bernita Sims — with a legal cloud still hovering —- is out; state Rep. Marcus Brandon is in. Brandon had previously said he would not run for High Point mayor if Sims sought reelection. Sims said she is not seeking reelection because she wants to pursue statewide office, possibly the Senate District 28 seat now held by Sen. Gladys Robinson.

Apparently Guilford County Commissioner Bruce Davis has not decided to run for mayor, leaving Commissioner Bill Bencini and political newcomer Jimmy Scott to duke it out. Bencini and Brandon are starting the campaign on a positive note:

“As far as Bill Bencini, I have heard nothing but good things about him,” he said. “I don’t know what his platform is, but I suspect it will be a very respectful race.”

Bencini said, “I have not heard anything but positives about Marcus. I don’t think it will be a campaign with any mudslinging. I’m not sure there is any mud to sling.”

Meanwhile, former mayor and current council member Becky Smothers will not seek reelection, saying —“with a chuckle” — she’s “just about run out of patience.”

Last but not least —Ward 2 council member Foster Douglas —has been embroiled in a dispute with the city over an unpaid $32,000 civil judgment—- did not file for reelection.