By THOMAS P. WEAVER, HORIZON Editor
CELINA-With the passing of last Thursday’s qualifying deadline for the upcoming city election to be held here June 4, the ballot was set with three throwing in their hats in hopes of becoming Celina’s mayor and a half-dozen candidates making the decision to battle for three available alderman seats.
Incumbent city mayor Willie Kerr will have two challengers. Political newcomers Carrol Smith, who qualified several weeks ago, and Donald Collins, who turned in his papers last week, are both looking to unseat the current mayor.
Kerr won his first term back in 2009 defeating then-sitting mayor and current alderman candidate Buddy Thompson. Just under 700 votes were cast in the mayoral race four years ago and Kerr received over half (51%) of them to take the win in the three-man race with a total of 350.
Incumbent aldermen Donnie Long, Don Haston, and Joey Locke will be on the ballot again this year and they will be joined by three challengers.
Thompson, Pat Burton, and Charlie Goad qualified to run last week. Thompson, who has served as both mayor and alderman in the past, and Burton, who ran for the same position in 2009, have made bids before, but Goad is taking his first shot at public office.
Veteran alderman Long was the top vote-getter four years ago with 374 handing him the vice-mayor title, while Locke took office for the first time with 298 and Haston claimed his second term with 288. Burton fell just shy with 255 in the six-person race.
Balloters will cast votes for three candidates in the alderman race, with the top vote-getter being named vice-mayor.
Early voting will run from May 15-30 and election day is June 4. Both early and election day voting will take place at the election office located here in the handicap accessible Clay County Community Center at 145 Cordell Hull Drive.
The last day to register to vote prior to this year’s election is May 6.
Announcement deadline is set noon, April 22
The HORIZON has set the deadline to get a free notice of candidacy on the front page for the upcoming city election.
Following policies of the past, the HORIZON will run a front-page, staff-written announcement with a photo for all city candidates.
The announcements must be run no later than the April 24 edition of the newspaper. The deadline for submitting material for an announcement to run in that edition will be Monday, April 22 at noon, with absolutely no exceptions.
No more than six announcements will be run in any edition of the paper on a first-come, first-served basis, and candidates are urged not to wait until the final edition to announce. Candidates are asked to have their material to the HORIZON on Monday at noon before the next week’s issue in which they want their announcement to run.
All announcements received by the newspaper after the April 22 deadline will be treated as advertisements and run on an inside page.