Local elections heating up

by By Cristin Parker news@thecherokeean.com

Filing for local municipal and school board elections ended Tuesday, Feb. 19.

General elections for cities and school boards across Cherokee County will be held Saturday, May 4. Thursday, April 4 is the last day residents of any of the municipalities or school districts can register to vote in the May 4 general election.

Early voting will be held Monday, April 22 through Tuesday, April 30, at various venues located within the areas holding each election. Call your city hall or school administration office to find out where polling locations will be open on Saturday, May. 4.

In Alto, two at-large city council seats and the mayor’s position were up for reelection. Incumbents Kera Lamar Reagan and Steve Cox both filed to retain their spots on the Council, as did incumbent Mayor Jimmy Allen. None of the trio have any opposition, so the city of Alto was able to cancel its general May election.

Alto ISD, however, will have to hold its May election for the two at-large school board seats up for election.

Incumbent Jay Jones, as well as newcomers Jeremey Jackson and Charley Reid, are all seeking one of the two seats up for election in May. Incumbent Lee Pearman did not file for re-election.

Jacksonville’s City Council will see a bit of change in May, despite not having to hold an election. No candidates running for city council had any opposition.

District 3 Councilman Randy Gorham has filed for the mayor’s seat, as current Mayor Dick Stone did not seek re-election. Tim McRae had filed to step into District 3’s seat; and incumbent Hubert Robinson filed to retain his seat to represent District 1.

Jacksonville ISD incumbent Jeff Horton is re-seeking his seat for Place 1. District citizens Matthew Leinback and Meredith Tarrant have filed for Place 2.

New Summerfield officials will be able to call their elections, as there are no opposed races for any council or school board seats up for election in May.

All three New Summerfield City Council incumbents -- Tim Tipton, Brandon Bannister and Don Williams – filed to keep their positions.

New Summerfield ISD also has three at-large seats up for election. Those positions are currently held by Joe Taylor, Glenna Weaver and Lori Lawson. Incumbents Lawson and Taylor refiled to keep their seats and newcomer Gary Don Davis filed as well, to fill the seat of Weaver, who opted not to run again.

The city of Reklaw will also get to cancel its election on May 4.

City council seats up for election in the city of Reklaw are Places 2, 4 and 6. Incumbents Larry Irwin and Derrick Kennedy filed for another term representing Places 2 and 4, respectively, while David Moore signed up to step in as Place 6’s representative.

Reklaw has no school district.

Every Rusk council member save one will be on May 4’s ballot this year.

Running for Rusk City Council District 1 are incumbent Ben Middlebrooks and Trey Todd.

Incumbent Walter Sessions filed to retain his seat as Rusk City Council District 2 councilman and has no opposition.

Running for Rusk Mayor are incumbent Angela Raiborn, Connie Parsons, Jefferson Jackson and Ken Ferrara.

Ferrara, currently serving as councilman for the city of Rusk’s District 4, and District 5 Councilman Jan Pate will also appear on the May 4 general election ballot as the subjects of recall elections.

Rusk citizens circulated petitions to collect signatures to call for the recall elections last year.

More than 700 Rusk residents signed each petition calling for the recall of each councilman and that election was called during a special city council meeting held in November 2018.

The three at-large RISD board seats, currently held by Jeff Johnson, Tracy Session and Jake Ocker, will be on May’s school board ballot. Incumbents Johnson, Session and Ocker have all filed to retain their trustee positions. District resident James Sanchez has also filed for a seat on the RISD school board.

Troup city council seats up for election represent Places 1, 3 and 4. Incumbent Jeff Hale, Brandi Barton and Chip Richardson all filed for reelection, with no opposition, allowing that city to cancel the May 4 election.

Troup ISD incumbents Lisa Lewis and Clayton Vickers will keep their seats on the Troup School Board for another term, as both have filed for re-election with no opposition. The pair represent Places 6 and 7, respectively. The school district will not have to hold a general election.

The city of Wells’ at-large city council seats, currently held by Matt Myers and Dorothy McMillan, will be on May ballot. Incumbent Myers, along with Clint Smith and Michael Harris, are all seeking election to the two seats up for grabs in May.

The incumbents of all three of Wells ISD’s at-large school board seats filed to keep their spots on the school board, with no opposition.

Those seats are currently held by Danny Colbert, Larry Bailey and Jason Hopper. WISD will be able to cancel its May 4 election.