With less than a day left to qualify, New Albany now has 21 people seeking the city’s seven elective offices.
The two newest qualifiers are Parks Smith running as an Independent for Ward One Alderman and Jeff Knox running as a Republican for Alderman-at-Large.
The only candidate without an opponent remains incumbent Chief of Police Chris Robertson.
The deadline to qualify is 5 p.m. today, Friday, Feb. 5.
Primary elections will be April 6 and the general election will be June 8.
Because the races for Ward Two alderman in the Democratic primary and for Wards One and Four aldermen in the Republican primary have three candidates each, run-offs April 27 are possible.
The races for Chief of Police, Ward Three Alderman and Ward Four Alderman will effectively be settled in the primary or run-off prior to the general election because candidates are only running in one party in each of the three contests.
Incumbent Ward One and Ward Two aldermen Amy Livingston and Johnny Anderson decided not to seek re-election, leaving those races wide open. That means the board will have two new members regardless and could possibly have all five if the Ward Three and Four incumbent aldermen, Kevin Dale White and Will Tucker, are defeated as well at Alderman-at-Large Keith Conlee.
The races for Mayor, Alderman-at-Large, Ward One Alderman and Ward Two Alderman definitely will not be settled until June 8, but they could be the only four.
Having few contested races in the primary and general elections could lead to a low voter turnout. This was the case four years ago when only about 22 percent of the city’s registered voted went to the polls.
Newly elected officials will take office July 1.
Here are the candidates for office in New Albany as of Thursday afternoon:
Mayor: James Dean (D), Chuck Garrett (R), Tim Kent (R)(i)
Chief of Police: Chris Robertson (R)(i)
Alderman-at-large: Keith Conlee (R)(i), Jeff Knox, (R), J. Lynn West (I)
Ward One Alderman: Mark Bishop (R), Judith Bennett (Benjie) Foley (R), William Ashley Kidd (R), Parks Smith (I)
Ward Two Alderman: Gary Edwards (D), Adam Hardy (R), David Drew Horn (R), Tim Johnson (D), Jessica Winston (D)
Ward Three Alderman: Penney Blissett (D), Kevin Dale White (D)(i)
Ward Four Alderman: Diane Jones (R), Ronnie Parker (R), Will Tucker (R)(i)
(D) = Democrat, (R) = Republican, (I) = Independent, (i) = incumbent
As of Thursday afternoon, only two people, both incumbents, had qualified to run for office in the Town of Myrtle.
However, Town Clerk Lisa Cook said the regular board of aldermen’s meeting was set for Thursday evening and she expected the other incumbent officials to bring their qualifying paperwork with them to the meeting.
Incumbent mayor Micheal Canerdy and alderman Sean Wiginton are the two who had officially qualified. The other incumbents expected to qualify are Milton McDonald, Cynthia Parks, Dustin Rasberry and Teresa Smith.
All Myrtle aldermen are elected at-large and Cook said she did not expect any other qualifiers at this time.
The Village of Blue Springs had more qualifiers late Thursday, but not enough candidates for alderman and only one incumbent – Mayor Rita Gentry – is seeking re-election according to village clerk Jan Musgrove.
Also vying for mayor is Mike Walker. Running for what will be an all-new board are Bradford Goodwin, Rhonda Pannell Horton, Jimmy Hutcheson and Lorence Strange.
The current aldermen who, as is the case with Myrtle, serve at-large but are not seeking re-election are Shirley Allen, Rick Bradford, Lynda Bramlett, Andrew Grisham and Malcom Leath.
If no one in addition to the incumbents qualifies in Myrtle they likely will not be required to hold an election.
Blue Springs will have to hold theirs, however, because there are two candidates for mayor. Musgrove said she hopes that will bring out some more candidates at the last minute.
The smaller municipalities have essentially had to go out and recruit people to run for aldermen some times in the past, either due to the smaller populations or simply lack of interest.
To run for city office one must be a qualified elector and resident of the municipality or ward, for aldermen, at least two years. Party candidates must pay a $10 fee and submit a statement of intent. Independent candidates pay no fee but need a petition signed by 50 qualified electors in support of being placed on the ballot.
The Democratic and Republican primaries to be held Tuesday, April 6, with a runoff, if needed, April 27, determine party nominees to be on the general election ballot June 8.Blue Springs, candidate, municipal election, Myrtle, New Albany, Northeast Mississippi, qualify, Union County