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Next mayor, 3 aldermen will be chosen Tuesday

Brookhaven voters will make the final decisions of this year’scity elections Tuesday as they cast ballots for mayor and threealderman positions.

Election officials said everything is ready to go for theelection.

“We’ve got the poll workers lined up to have the polls open at 7a.m., and we hope we’ll have a good turnout,” said Bonita Bullock,Brookhaven election commissioner who is overseeingpreparations.

Polls will be open Tuesday until 7 p.m.

The mayor’s race has heated up in recent weeks as Republicanchallenger and Ward 4 Alderman John Roberts questioned incumbentDemocrat Mayor W.W. “Bill” Godbold’s mileage reimbursement totalsand casino hotel-related expenditures on a city credit card. Theincumbent has said the expenditures were for “city business” andchallenged the timing of the allegations aspolitically-motivated.

Godbold is seeking a second consecutive term and sixth overallas mayor, while his mayoral bid means Roberts is giving up his seaton the board of aldermen after three terms.

Independent Percy Rauls is the third man in the mayor’s race.Rauls is a former city alderman.

The mayor’s race is the only city-wide contested race onTuesday’s ballot. Voters in Wards 4, 5 and 6 also will be electingan alderman for the next four years.

Vying to replace Roberts as alderman of Ward 4 are RepublicanBob Massengill and Democrat Jerry Case. Case was unopposed for hisparty’s nomination while Massengill defeated two opponents in theGOP primary in May.

The Ward 5 Alderman race features a rematch from four years withnow-incumbent Tom Smith facing then-incumbent John Richardson. TheDemocrat Smith defeated two challengers for his party’s nominationwhile Richardson was unopposed in the Republican primary.

In Ward 6, Democratic incumbent Alderman John E. “Buddy” Allenis seeking a second full term versus Republican Keith Peden. Allendefeated three opponents for his party’s nod, and Peden wasunopposed in the primary.

Following victories in the Democratic primary, seven unopposedcity officials will be formally elected Tuesday.

In city-wide listings, Arlustra “Pap” Henderson is unopposed forchief of police and will succeed retiring Chief Fred McKee. With noprimary or general election opposition, City Clerk Iris Rudman willbe elected to a fifth term and City Tax Collector Pat Duckworth toa fourth term in office.

In alderman races, three incumbents were returned to office inthe Democratic primary. Ward 1 Alderman Dorsey Cameron and Ward 3Alderman the Rev. Jerry L. Wilson were elected to second terms andWard 2 Alderman Terry Bates got the nod for a fourth term.

After winning the Democratic primary, Les Bumgarner will beelected alderman at large. He will replace Henry Newman, who madean unsuccessful run for mayor this year.

Newly-elected city officials will take office July 1.

Although it is the only city-wide contest on the ballot, Bullocksaid the mayor’s race is important. She said it is difficult topredict what kind of turnout Tuesday’s election will have.

“I’m hoping we’ll have as good a turnout as we had in theprimaries,” Bullock said.

In the May 1 primary, which features nine contested races,turnout was around 39 percent. Turnout for runoffs on May 15, whichincluded only the city-wide alderman at large race and Ward 2Alderman contest, was around 33 percent.