City Elections

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Deadline looms as candidates jump into municipal races

By Jason C. Mattox

With less than one week remaining until the qualifying deadline for municipal elections, Batesville, Como and Crenshaw are all reporting new candidates.

In Batesville, Mayor Jerry Autrey, Alderman-at-Large Teddy Morrow and Ward 1 Alderman Bill Dugger remain unopposed while the remaining members of the board have drawn at least one challenger.

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Ward 4 Alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders has drawn two opponents, Kenneth Williams and Eddie Nabors. Pounders is the longest-serving elected official in the city.

Ward 3 Alderman Stan Harrison will square off against Percy Bruce, whom he defeated in a special election in 2007 for the right to fill the unexpired term of the late James Yelton.

Ward 2 Alderman Rufus Manley is being challenged by local developer Ted Stewart.

North of the river, Crenshaw and Como have been busy with a flurry of political activity while Sardis has seen only one change since John Reed qualified last week to face Roy Scallorn for the Alderman-at-Large seat.

John C. “Boots” Still has qualified to face Joseph “JoJo” Still for the Ward 1 seat. The two are unrelated.

In Crenshaw, Patricia Dotson has qualified to seek the Ward 1 seat with no competition to date.

In addition to the municipal offices, a three-percent tourism tax will be voted on by the people of Sardis.

The tax would be added to restaurant food.

Wardell Reed has qualified for the Ward 4 seat currently held by Shirley Morgan.

Ward 5 candidate Katherine Phipps, who is seeking the seat formerly held by her husband Milton, will face Ronnie Perry and Frankie Patterson in the primary.

Ward 3 incumbent Alberta Bradley will face Dennis Handy. Ward 2 Alderman David Whitsell has no opponent.

In the mayor’s race, Sylvester Reed has qualified to seek re-election. He will face off against Oscar Barlow, whom he defeated for the position four years ago.

In Como, Mayor Judy Sumner will face Andrew Cook and Mack Taylor.

Taylor was previously a trustee on the North Panola School Board.

Ward 1 incumbent Clark Gregory will be challenged by former alderman Tonia Heard.

Ward 3 incumbent Ruby Higgenbottom has drawn Margaret Porter in the general election. Porter is running as an independent.

Alderman Everette Hill remains unopposed for the Ward 4 post.

Alderman-at-Large Forster Ruhl will face John Walton, a man he endured a court battle with to determine the true winner of the 2005 election.

No candidates have qualified for the Ward 2 position.