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City’s political field already taking shape

Most incumbent city officials say their names will be on nextyear’s municipal election ballot, although a few say they are stillin the “undecided” column.

While qualifying does not start until after the first of theyear, the race for the city’s highest office is starting to shapeup.

“I’m running,” said Henry Newman, the city’s currentalderman-at-large and future mayoral candidate. “I think I can do agood job and do some things to help the city.”

Incumbent Mayor Bill Godbold said his name will also be on theballot. He is in his fifth term as mayor, although the terms havenot been consecutive.

“I’ve got some things working that I want to see through,” saidGodbold, who earlier served as mayor from 1965-1973 and from1985-1993.

In other city-wide elected offices, City Tax Collector PatDuckworth said she planned to be first name on the ballot in herrace, and City Clerk Iris Rudman said she will also seek anotherterm. Rudman will be seeking her fifth term while Duckworth will begoing after her fourth.

Brookhaven Police Chief Fred McKee said he is undecided abouthis future plans. McKee has been with the department 36 years, thelast 11 as police chief.

In aldermen races, first-term Ward 1 Alderman Dorsey Cameronsaid he will seek re-election and Ward 2 Alderman Terry Bates saidhe is planning to seek another term. Bates has been alderman in theward for 12 years.

Ward 3 Alderman the Rev. Jerry L. Wilson, another first-termboard member, said he will run to keep his post.

“I believe we’ve done a good job and made a difference in thecommunity,” Wilson said.

Ward 4 Alderman John Roberts, the mayor pro tem, placed his namein the undecided column. A 12-year member of the board, he wasfocusing on another race at the moment.

“I’m going to let everything settle down in Florida before Idecide what I’m going to do,” Roberts said in reference to thePresidential election.

Ward 5 Alderman Tom Smith, nearing the end of his first term,said he will seek re-election.

Ward 6 Alderman John E. “Buddy” Allen, completing his first fullterm in office after earlier being chosen in special election, saidhe has enjoyed his time on the board. But, he was also in theundecided category.

“I most likely will be a candidate again,” Allen said.