Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

March 9, 2014

May 10 elections taking shape

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Filing for city and school district elections ended last week, and many local governments are already breathing a sigh of relief that they can cancel elections, since there are a number of unopposed races.

In the city and school district elections of May 10, Corsicana ISD will have one contested seat, that of Place 2, currently held by Leah Blackard. Challenger Rick Newton has filed for that seat, as well.

Kerri Donica’s seat was filled Friday by appointee Jason Sodd, who is unopposed, and who will be sworn in again in May for a three-year-term.

No one filed to run against Corsicana City Council members Tom Wilson and Ruby Williams, places 1 and 2, so the city can cancel its election. Navarro College isn’t scheduled for elections this year.

Blooming Grove ISD has two positions open on that board, and filed to run for those positions are incumbents Tim Campbell and Micah Haden, along with challengers T.C. Lawhon, Tommy McAnally and John Paul Plemons.

Dawson ISD had two board positions open, currently held by Kris Matthews and Shonda Long. Matthews and Ray Rogers filed, but Long did not. Rogers will take Long’s place on the board and the election will be canceled for lack of a contest.

Frost ISD, three positions, currently Keith Speer, Joel Elmore and Jeremy Woods. Incumbents Speer and Woods, along with challengers Don Ballew, and Kevin Scott, and Michael Welborn.

Kerens ISD, two seats open, now held by Libby Layfield and Randy Bancroft. Incumbent Bancroft filed along with challengers Deena Kamp Davis, Shane Hill, and Bart Latta.

Mildred ISD has two seats open, now held by Bradley Boyte and Michael Cook. Both incumbents filed, along with challenger Leslie Hayes.

Rice ISD has two seats open, those of Kevin Thedford and Alan Stewart. Stewart filed for reelection, along with Jason Blake. Lacking a contest, the district will cancel its election.

City filings around the county are as follows:

Angus has three open seats, currently held by Marshall Purifoy, Kathy McKissack and Julie Humphries. McKissack and Humphries filed for reelection, but Purifoy has said he’ll step down after 29 years. The council will need to appoint a replacement for him. The election will be canceled for lack of a contest.

Barry has three council positions open, currently held by Lori Armstrong, Charles Allen and Ann Elmore. All the incumbents filed for reelection, but no challengers meant they canceled the election because of no contest.

Blooming Grove had a mayor and two council member positions open. Currently in those positions are Jeanette Wisdom, mayor; and council members Jo McKee and Gary Patterson. The only contest will be for mayor. Filed to run for that seat are Gary Patterson and Susan McCall. Wisdom did not seek reelection. Filed for council are Jo McKee and Alva Lynn Smith. Because the council seats are uncontested, they won’t have to have a council election, but they will have a mayor’s election.

Dawson will be able to cancel its election for mayor and three council seats. The only people who filed are the people currently in those seats: Mayor Stephen Sanders, and council members Darrell Stevenson, Orval Waller and Cameron Shaw. They are expected to cancel the election at the April meeting.

Emhouse will not have an election. No one filed to run.

Eureka had four positions open, three full terms and one unexpired term, and filed for those seats were Ginny Folmar, Carol Sigman, JoAnne Bottoms for the full terms, and Patricia Pritchett for the unexpired term.

Frost has a mayor and two council seats open, currently held by Mayor Velma Ballew, and council members Doyle Staggs and Cheryl Tatum. Filed for the mayor’s seat are Jimmy Alexander, Lance Reed, Carl Cassady, and Donald Thomas. Filed for alderman are Velma Ballew, Doyle Staggs, Francesca Cook and Penny Harris.

Kerens, three council seats now held by Brandon Blue, Greg Allen and Ann Fessenden. Blue, Allen and Fessenden filed for reelection. Although there’s no competition among candidates, Kerens will still have an election to reauthorize the city’s street maintenance tax. It’s 1/4 of a cent on the sales tax, and has to be renewed by the voters every four years.

Mildred has the mayor and one council seat open, currently held by Mayor Kyle Kerrigan and councilman Chris Simmons. However, only one person filed for the election this time, Latriece Richter, who filed to run for the council seat. The mayor did not file for reelection. City Secretary has requested advice from the Texas Municipal League on what has to take place when the current terms expire.

Nobody really expressed an interest in running for the position open in Navarro, so the town will cancel its election, according to the mayor.

Oak Valley has three alderman positions open. Incumbents Bill Castner and Jim Barrington filed, but Bob O’Dell did not file for reelection. The council will need to appoint someone to fill that position. They can cancel their election, since there are no contested races.

Rice has three council positions open, currently held by Gary Teague, Jack Cheek and Doug Saffell. Incumbents Teague and Saffell filed, along with challengers Larry Bailey, Jerry Herring, Michael Cox, and Dolly Dodson.

Rice will also hold a special election to reauthorize the street sales tax. The tax is 1/4 of one cent, and raises about $12,000 a year. It has to be reauthorized by the voters every four years.

Richland’s mayor, Dolores Baldwin has a challenger in Penny Bennett, but the two council positions, currently held by Kenneth Guard and Shirley Thomas are unopposed.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com