After an initial flurry of activity the first week, qualifying for city elections has almost ceased.
Only one person, Kevin Dale White, qualified in the past week. He is running as a Democrat seeking the Ward Three alderman’s seat now held by Tommie Beasley. Chris Buford and Larry Dykes also have qualified in Ward Three.
Although Beasley has not formally announced he is retiring, he has expressed intentions not to run.
Incumbent Police Chief David Grisham has also said he is not seeking re-election after a 32-year tenure.
Outside New Albany in Union County, no qualifiers have been reported so far for Blue Springs, Myrtle or Sherman.
Candidates in the smaller county municipalities don’t face the same deadlines as New Albany since candidates run as independents, meaning there will be no primary and their first and only vote will not come until the June 4 general elections.
In New Albany, Mayor Tim Kent is unopposed so far, as are Ward Two Alderman Johnny Anderson, Ward Four Alderman Will Tucker and Alderman-at-Large Scott Dunnam.
So far, police officers Mark Golding and Chris Robertson are the only ones vying for the police chief’s job.
In Ward Three, both Buford and Dykes ran for the post four years ago.
The only announced alderman candidate who is opposed so far is Ward One Alderman Jeff Olson, who is being challenged by Daniel Frain. Frain ran for alderman-at-large four years ago.
Tucker and Olson are running as Republicans while the rest are listed as Democrats so a primary will be necessary here.
One factor primarily affecting the Ward One and Ward Three races is that boundaries for those areas have recently been redrawn to reflect population shifts in the 2010 Census. A large part of the North Side that used to be in Ward One is now in Ward Three, which used to be primarily the south part of town.
This could allow candidates who were not eligible in a ward a year ago to run and, conversely, prohibit a candidate from running in a ward he or she lived in a year ago.
It also means a change for voters who have been moved from one ward to another and the city is in the process of making those changes and alerting residents as to where they will need to vote.
Town clerks in Sherman, Myrtle and Blue Springs said a few aldermen have expressed intent to retire and not run again, and a few seats may be challenged but, so far, indications are that most incumbents will seek re-election with comparatively little opposition.
Because of their smaller population, each of the three has five at-large aldermen and a mayor, rather than ward representatives. Blue Springs may see some change in the same way New Albany Wards One and Three will because the city has annexed a comparatively large area, enabling residents who lived outside the corporate limits a year ago to run for office now.
Incumbents for Blue Springs are Mayor, David Boland; and Aldermen Rita Gentry, Jerry Nunnelee, Sandra Boland, Leanna Hollis and Shirley Allen (all Independent).
Incumbents for Myrtle are Mayor, Joe M. Rials; and Aldermen Joseph Graham, Carolyn McCuiston, Jeanette Thomas, Fleurette Ausburn and David Brown (all Independent).
Incumbents for Sherman are Mayor, Ben Logan; and Aldermen Ann Simmons, Martha Swindle, Wayne Bullock, Dianne Jolly and Todd McDonald (all Independent).
Qualifying deadline is Friday, March 8. The primary will be Tuesday, May 7, and a runoff, if needed, will be Tuesday, May 21. The general election is Tuesday, June 4 and winners will take office July 1.
Tim Kent (incumbent) (D)
Chief of Police –
Mark Golding (D)
Chris Robertson (D)
Ward 1 Alderman –
Daniel Frain (D)
Jeff Olson (incumbent) (R)