By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
LEE COUNTY – Many Lee County voters will elect their municipal representatives in the Democratic primary this year since most politicians in smaller municipalities are running as Democrats.
Currently Nettleton, Shannon and Baldwyn only have Democratic candidates for mayor, meaning the office would be decided in the May 7 Democratic primary.
Since the Daily Journal last published the names of those who had qualified to run for mayor in Lee County’s municipalities outside of Tupelo – Jan 11 – six new people have put their names in their respective races and two incumbent mayors have finalized paperwork.
The deadline to register to run for a municipal position is March 8.
Paul Turner, 55, an 18-year resident of Saltillo, has qualified to run against Rex Smith in Saltillo’s Republican primary for mayor on May.
“I served from 1997 until 2005 as alderman,” Turner said. “Then, we faced the fastest growth we ever have and I’d like to get in there as mayor and get our city growing like it was at that time – bring more business and provide more jobs.”
Steve Brooks is the city’s only Democratic candidate and as it stands, he will face the winner of Smith and Tuner on June 4.
The candidates are running to replace Mayor Bill Williams who is retiring after this term.
Robert Trice, an independent, remains the only candidate qualified to run in Verona’s mayoral race. Incumbent Mayor Bobby Williams said he will run and has completed his paperwork but has yet to officially file. He said it definitely will be in before the March 8 deadline.
There are no new mayoral candidates in Nettleton. Incumbent Mayor R.V. Adams will face off against Jimmy Taylor in the city’s May 7 Democratic primary.
Two candidates have stepped up to face off against Ronnie Hallmark, Shannon’s incumbent mayor.
Former Shannon mayor Bill Curtis said he is running because he wants to help the community.
“I’m retired and have plenty of time,” he said. “We need to fix a lot of streets and focus on our youth.”
Shannon minister Willie Bob Gates, 58, said, if elected, he wants to make the mayor’s role more visible in the community.
“The town of Shannon should be a place where you know your mayor and he is accessible, friendly and outgoing,” he said. “I would also like to work with our youth and see if we could get them involved in our parks – put more teeth into our annual Shannon Day and events like that so people look forward to community events.”
The three candidates will face off in Shannon’s Democratic primary on May 7.
Lifelong Baldwyn resident Alma S. Welch, 44, is facing off against incumbent Mayor Michael James because she wants to bring unity and a focus on education to her hometown.
“I want to listen to the local voices in the city and bring some compassion to the community,” she said.
The two candidates will face off in Baldwyn’s Democratic primary on May 7.
Plantersville and Sherman
Incumbent Plantersville Mayor Gloria Holland and Incumbent Sherman Mayor Ben Logan have both filed paperwork to run for mayor since the Jan. 11 publication of their intentions to seek re-election. Both mayors are listed as independent.
Guntown has two new candidates vying to replace retiring Mayor Robert Herring.
Bob Davis, 57, has previously served two terms as Guntown mayor.
“I’ve been in politics there over 20 years and I think I have the experience it takes to keep the little town going,” said the native of 57 years. “We’ve still got some infrastructure we need to work on to upgrade our town and get some more houses built.”
Gary E. (Bud) Herring, 61, will face Davis in the June 4 general election. He said he is retiring from the U.S. Postal Service this year and thinks his experience on the Lee County School Board will help him.
“We have some good employees in Guntown and I believe I can work with them and do a good job,” he said.