will wait till June.
By Mack Spencer
Voting on primary day Tuesday will be light in most of the county.
Only Bruce voters will actually go to the polls next week, as the county’s largest municipality is the only one with members of the same party going head to head for the same seats.
Citywide, Bruce residents will choose the town’s next mayor in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Robert Edward Oakley must face off against Ward 4 alderman Jessey Higdon.
In Ward 5, voters will have to choose between voting for mayor and voting for alderman. Vonda Keon and Carter Parr are both running as Republicans to replace Allen Prestage.
The other Bruce candidates are uncontested and will be elected in June: Ward 1 alderman John Earl Armstrong, Ward 2 alderman Johnny Armstrong, Ward 3 alderman Gary Edwards, all Democrats; and Ward 4 candidate Steve Nelson, Republican.
The big electoral battle in June will be in Vardaman, where nine candidates are running for the five at-large alderman seats.
The four incumbents, Jeff Clements, Jeff Hamilton, Wilbur Holmes and Jeannie Winter, are all running for re-election. A fifth seat has been open since alderman A.D. Wright’s death earlier this year.
Clements, Hamilton and Winter are running as Republicans. Because there are five seats available and only three party candidates, no primary is required.
Holmes and the five challengers – Annie Douglas, Janice Gillespie, Susan High, Robert Earl McGregor and Frances Simmons – are running as independents.
Mayor James Marshall Casey, running as a Republican, is unopposed.
Seven candidates are vying for the five board seats. Incumbents Richard Blaylock, Charles Lynn Bobo, David Martin, Charles Pulliam and Judy Tedford are running as independents. So are their challengers, Lillie Mhoon and Jim Scarbrough.
Dock Gabbert is unopposed for another term as mayor.
Only Ward 3 alderman Larry Bratton faces a challenge, from Donna Cole, widow of former mayor Tom Cole. Running as independents, voters will choose between them in June.
The remaining incumbents are running unopposed as independents: mayor J.R. Denton, Ward 1 alderman Jerry Vaughn, Ward 2 alderman Marshall Coleman, Ward 4 alderman Dale Hays and Ward 5 alderwoman Barbara Goodson.
All incumbents are running for re-election unopposed as independents.
Serving another term will be mayor Reda Bullard and aldermen Fred Bullard, Jimmy Franklin, Cindy Hubbard, Barbara Kellum and Keith Thacker.
Mayor Dwight Devall and four board incumbents are running unopposed as independents.
Katie Devall, Bobby Harrison, Ronald Harville and Scott Norman will return to the board. They will be joined by newcomer Dee Harrison.
The incumbents are running for re-election, including mayor Del Hemphill and aldermen Dale Weeks, Carrie Gregg, Marlene McPhail and Darnell Nabors.
The board will have to fill a vacancy left by the death this week of alderman Frankie West.