CHICKASAW COUNTY – With just two weeks go before municipal elections in Houston and Okolona, candidates for city offices are busy soliciting votes.
Voters in both municipalities will cast a ballot for mayor and city marshal and for the alderman or city councilman for the ward where they live. Houston has an at-large-alderman and all voters there can cast a ballot in that race if they chose to vote as a Democrat.
“You do have to declare which party you want to vote for when you walk in the voting precinct,” said Houston City Clerk Bobby Sanderson. “We do have Republican and Democratic candidate running for city offices this spring and voters should have an idea of which races interest them the most and which candidates they want to get their vote.”
State law requires the Democratic and Republican parties to conduct party primaries and voters can not vote a split ballot.
Okolona City Clerk Kim Collins said all candidates in Okolona are running as Democrats and the May 7 primary will decide all races there.
“Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.,” said Collins. “Residents do need to be able to identify where they live so they can get a ballot with their council races on it.”
All voters in Houston will cast a ballot at the Chickasaw Development Foundation on Starkville Road. All residents of Okolona will vote at the Rockwell Auditorium on Main Street.
Sample ballots will be posted at both the CDF lobby and at the Rockwell Auditorium. Poll officials can also answer questions for voters before they cast a ballot.
This spring’s municipal elections are for city residents only.
In both Houlka and Woodland, only one person ran for mayor and only five people ran for aldermen making all town races unopposed.
City races in Okolona have 18 people seeking eight spots while in Houston 13 people have thrown their hat in the ring for seven offices.
In Okolona all candidates have filed as Democrats while Houston has four people declaring for the Republican Party. In Houlka and Woodland all candidates filed as independents.
Candidates who have qualified in Houston, their position, political party, name and if they are an incumbent (i) are:
• Mayor – Democrat Stacey W. Parker (i), Democrat Terry Taylor.
• District 1 Alderman – Republican Raymond A. “Tony” Uhiren (i), Democrat, Bobby G. Mooneyham.
• District 2 Alderman – Democrat Shenia Kirby Jones (i).
• District 3 Alderman – Republican Frank Thomas (i), Republican Richard Cooper, Democrat Patricia Burgess Southerland.
• District 4 Alderman – Democrat Willie Gates McKinney (i)
• Alderman at Large – Democrat Barry Springer (i), Democrat Amy Simmons Gardner.
• City Marshal – Democrat Billy Voyles (i), Democrat Robert “Preacher” Ivy.
Candidates who have qualified in Okolona, their position, political party, name and if they are an incumbent (i) are:
• Ward 1 Alderman – Democrat Kenneth McVey (i), Democrat Leander Lee Wilson.
• Ward 2 Alderman – Democrat Bennett Moore (i), Democrat Judy T. Nichols.
• Ward 3 Alderman – Democrat Eldridge Lowe (i).
• Ward 4 Alderman – Democrat Imogene Armstrong (i), Democrat Regina Pickens, Democrat Jarvis Brumby, Democrat Teresa M. Price, Democrat Robert E. Shinn.
• Ward 5 Alderman – Democrat Mary L. Gates, Democrat Robert Matt Hughes (i), Democrat Tameka Gates.
• Ward 6 Alderman – Democrat Anthony Floyd (i).
• Mayor – Democrat Louise Floyd Cole (i), Democrat Sherman R. Carouthers.
• City Marshal – Democrat Tommie James Ivy (i), Democrat Willie C. Moore, Jr.
Houlka elects city aldermen at large with the five candidates getting the top number of votes being named alderman. Candidates who have qualified in Houlka, their position, political party, name and if they are an incumbent (i) are:
• Mayor – Independent Jimmy Kelly (i).
• Alderman – Independent Kim Murphree (i), Independent K.C. Gates (i), Independent Beverly Davidson (i), David Wiggs (i) and Independent Dustin Eaton.
Woodland elects city aldermen at large with the five candidates getting the top number of votes being named alderman. Candidates who have qualified in Woodland, their position, political party, name and if they are an incumbent (i) are:
• Mayor – Independnt Patti Watkins (i).
• Alderman – Independent Lorene Hamilton (i), Independent Reta Laney (i), Independent Linda Dendy (i), Independent Margaret Nelson (i), Independent Jo Bullard.
All ballots will have a blank space for write-in candidates.
Candidates must earn 50 percent of the vote, plus one vote, to be declared the winner of a primary election.