City General Election is Tuesday

news-politics-election-stockHOUSTON – Voters have been to the polls three times over the past 28 days as Houston, Okolona, Houlka and Woodland are picking their leaders in municipal elections this spring.

Houston residents will head to the polls Tuesday for the last time as they vote in two contested aldermen races. City races in Okolona, Houlka and Woodland have already been decided.

“Polls open at 7 a.m., will be open all day and close at 7 p.m.” said Houston City Clerk Bobby Sanderson. “All ballots will be cast at the Civic Center.”

Winners in city elections this spring will take office July 1.

Tuesday’s vote in Houston will see voters pick their aldermen for Ward 3 and Ward 1.

The Ward 1 race has incumbent Republican Tony Uhiren on the ballot with Democrat Bobby Mooneyham. Uhiren, is a local factory executive and is seeking his second term. Mooneyham is a retired banker and this is his first venture for public office.

The Ward 3 race has incumbent Republican Frank Thomas on the ballot with Democrat Patricia Burgess Southerland. Thomas is a local businessman and seeking his third term in office. Southerland is a former city planner and is seeking her first term in office.

“You will only vote for candidates in your ward,” said Sanderson. “If you have questions about who you vote for, tell a pollworker where you live and they will get you the right ballot.”

Sanderson said voters will also see candidates for Mayor, Chief of Police and Alderman-at-Large on the ballot.

“Those races have already been decided in the primaries,” said Sanderson. “As long as at least one person votes for them, they are in.”

Sanderson said Tuesday’s race is a General Election and will be run by the Municipal Election Commission, who will count the ballots and then canvas and certify the election to make them final.

Okolona saw all candidates run as Democrats this spring and elections for Mayor, City Marshal and all but one alderman spot settled in the party primary.

A run-off was held in Ward 4 in Okolona last week with Regina Pickens declared the winner with 58 votes over Teresa Price with 33 votes.

Candidates for mayor and alderman seats in both Woodland and Houlka ran unopposed this year.

City boards meet regularly once a month and attend special meetings as called by the mayor or board.

To qualify for municipal office, a candidate must be a registered voter of the municipality and ward from which they are to be elected.

Candidates may not have been convicted of a federal crime or certain Mississippi crimes defined as punishable by incarceration in a state penitentiary unless they have received a full pardon. They also may not be convicted of a crime in another state that is considered a felony under Mississippi law.

Candidates cannot have been legally declared mentally incompetent.

Questions or concerns about voting issues, policy and procedure for any election should be directed to the Secretary of State’s office at (601) 359-1350.

Questions or concerns about candidate qualifications, ethics and conduct while in office should be directed to the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division at (601) 359-4258.


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