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One candidate officially qualifies for city election

One person has formally qualified as a candidate in the specialelection for city clerk, and three other announced contenders inthe May 18 contests for city clerk and mayor are collecting thenecessary signatures to be candidates.

Mike Jinks, bookkeeper in the city clerk’s office, submitted hisqualifying petition Wednesday, the day after aldermen declared avacancy in the office.

“I wanted to go ahead and qualify as soon as the office wasopen,” Jinks said.

City Clerk Iris Rudman Smith resigned after almost five fullterms in the office. The resignation was effective Tuesday.

In discussing his reasons for running, Jinks cited his 10 yearsin the office. He said he believes he has the experience,qualifications, and knowledge of office operations to do the jobwell.

“I’ve been trained in every job in the office,” Jinks said,mentioning payroll, accounting and other duties handled by the cityclerk.

To be a candidate in either the city clerk’s or mayor’s races, aperson must submit a petition with the names of 50 registered cityvoters.

Bonita Bullock, Brookhaven Election Commission chairwoman, saidJinks’ petition, which had 78 signatures, had been verified.

“Everything’s on go for him,” Bullock said.

Also in the city clerk’s race, Mandy Sproles Dann said she isclose to collecting the necessary signatures to be a candidate.Dann, accounts payable and payroll manager for the HumanPerformance Company, said she had been approached by severalfriends and asked to consider running.

“I decided to give it a try after praying about it and talkingwith my family,” said Dann, who is working on a formal candidacyannouncement.

Dann mentioned her work with a variety of civic clubs andcommunity involvement. She was confident she could handle the cityclerk’s duties well.

“I love Brookhaven, and I would give it my best effort,” saidDann, who expected to turn in her petition by early next week.

In other election-related activity, announced mayoral candidatesWard Four Alderman Bob Massengill and former Ward Four AldermanJohn Roberts said they are in the process of collecting signaturesfor their petitions. Mayor Bill Godbold resigned April 1 while inhis sixth non-consecutive term in office.

Both Massengill and Roberts indicated they had beenconcentrating on campaigning rather than collecting thesignatures.

“My main thing has been going out and meeting folks,” Massengillsaid.

Massengill said he expected to have his petition completed bythe end of the week.

“I want to be officially qualified,” Massengill said.

Roberts also said he has been trying to meet people whilecampaigning. He said it should not take long to collect thepetition signatures.

“I don’t think it’s going to be hard to get 50 signatures,”Roberts said.

Speculation continues about other possible candidates in theraces.

Alderman-at-large Les Bumgarner, one of morefrequently-mentioned names as possible candidate, said he is notgoing to run.

“The timing is just not right,” said Bumgarner, citing businessand other considerations.

Ward Two Alderman and Mayor Pro Tem Terry Bates said he has notmade a decision on his possible candidacy. He said he is weighinghis options daily and would likely decide within the next fewdays.

“The rest of the guys need to know what my status is,” Batessaid.

Bates said he has a good job at Delphi Packard Electric Systems,where he has worked for about 25 years.

“I like what I’m doing and I like working for the city,” Batessaid. “I’m kind of caught in between.”

The qualifying deadline for mayor and city clerk candidates isMay 7.

The special election is scheduled for May 18. Runoffs, ifneeded, would be held May 25 and newly-elected officials couldbegin their duties in June.

The special election winners will fill the unexpired termsthrough June 2005.