Town residents vote Tuesday

By Mack Spencer

Town residents vote Tuesday
* Contested races are in Bruce, Calhoun City, Vardaman and Derma.
By Mack Spencer
Municipal elections will take place Tuesday, but few town voters in Calhoun County will be headed to the polls.
Only races that are contested have to appear on this year’s ballot, meaning many officeholders have already been guaranteed their positions for the next four years.
Where elections are being held, polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
There will be no elections held in Big Creek, Pittsboro or Slate Springs. Only voters in Calhoun City’s Ward 3 and Bruce’s Ward 5 will need to go to the polls there.
Only Vardaman and Derma will open the polls for all town voters, who will vote for the towns’ at-large board of aldermen seats.
In Vardaman, four incumbents are running for re-election against five challengers who were spurred to run by the death of alderman A.D. Wright earlier this year. Incumbents Jeff Clements, Jeff Hamilton and Jeannie Winter are running as Republicans.
Incumbent Wilbur Holmes is running as an independent, along with challengers Annie Douglas, Janice Gillespie, Susan High, Robert Earl McGreger and Frances Simmons.
All of Derma’s incumbents – Richard Blaylock, Charles Lynn Bobo, David Martin, Charles Pulliam and Judy Tedford – are seeking re-election as independents. Lillie Mhoon and Jim Scarbrough are challenging for seats.
Both mayors, James Marshall Casey of Vardaman and Dock Gabbert of Derma, were unopposed for re-election.
Ward races
In Calhoun City’s Ward 3, incumbent Larry Bratton and challenger Donna Cole, both running as independents, will face off.
Mayor J.R. Denton and the remaining incumbents, Jerry Vaughn, Marshall Coleman, Dale Hays and Barbara Goodson, faced no challengers.
In Bruce, Ward 5 voters will choose from among Republican candidate Vonda Keon, independent Lyn Parsons and Democratic candidate Craig Tutor. Keon advanced from the Republican primary, 7-6, over Carter Parr.
Bruce mayor Robert Edward Oakley won another term by winning the Democratic primary over alderman Jessey Higdon. Newcomer Steve Nelson was unopposed for the Ward 4 seat left open by Higdon, and incumbents Johnny Armstrong, John Earl Armstrong and Gary Edwards were not challenged for their seats.
Big Creek
Mayor Dwight Devall will serve another term, along with incumbents Katie Devall, Bobby Harrison, Ronald Harville and Scott Norman. Buddy Litten chose not to run for re-election and will be replaced by Dee Harrison.
The full slate of officers will return for the county seat, including mayor Reda Bullard and aldermen Fred Bullard, Jimmy Franklin, Cindy Hubbard, Barbara Kellum and Keith Thacker.
Slate Springs
Del Hemphill will serve another term as mayor, along with incumbent board members Carrie Gregg, Marlene McPhail, Darnell Nabors and Dale Weeks. The board will appoint a replacement for Frankie West, who died after the qualifying deadline.

Click video to hear audio