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One Race Contested In Water Valley

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Only one challenger filed papers by Friday’s deadline to run for city office in the upcoming municipal elections.
Ray Hawkins, assistant chief of police at the University of Mississippi, will run for the Ward 2 Alderman position against long-time incumbent Fred White.
Hawkins serves on the board of the Yalobusha Economic Development and Tourism District, is a deacon of New Providence M.B. Church and a former president of the Water Valley School District Board of Trustees.
“It’s time for some new ideas that will hopefully move our city forward,” Hawkins said.
Running unopposed will be Mayor Larry Hart, Ward 1 Alderman Bobby Cox, Ward 3 Alderman Phillip Tallant, Ward 4 Alderman Larry Bell and Alderman-At-Large Donald Gray.
In Coffeeville, the election commission won’t meet until an absent member returns from an out-of-town trip.
Current town officials are Mayor Mack Burns, Ward 1 Alderman Eva Longstreet, Ward 2 Alderman George E. “Chick” Miller, Ward 3 Alderman Joe Bourn, Ward 4 Alderman Michael Ayers and Alderman-At-Large Bryan K. McCullough.
In Oakland, candidates who have filed papers to run include Lula Alford and James Riley Swearengen, incumbent, in the Mayor’s race.  In the Aldermen’s race are incumbents George Booker, Jr., Joe W. Jenkins, Terry Ellis and Sharonda Jones. They face challengers Marzet Bland, Ben Patterson, William David Robinson, Lottie Patterson, Chris Gray and Larry Neal.
Aldermen run as independents in Oakland and the top five vote getters win the race.
Filing the paperwork to qualify for aldermen and mayoral seats in Water Valley, Coffeeville and Oak-land ran from January 1 to March 8, with the primary election set for May 7 and the general election on June 4.
In the 2009 election in Water Valley, all of the seats were decided in the May Primary election as all of the candidates ran on the Democrat ticket. That will again be the case this year.
The new terms start July 1.

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