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Candidate field set for election

Three people will seek to become Brookhaven’s new mayor whiletwo candidates are wanting to be city clerk following Friday’squalifying deadline for the Tuesday, May 18, special election.

“Everything is on go for our special election,” said BonitaBullock, Brookhaven Election Commission chairwoman.

In the mayor’s race, current Ward Four Alderman Bob Massengilland John Roberts, former long-time alderman of that ward, have beencampaigning heavily since Mayor Bill Godbold announced hisresignation in March. Godbold was in his sixth, non-consecutive,term as mayor.

A third candidate, Sam Dodds, joined the race last week afterfinalizing his qualifying petition.

Dodds, 47, of 423 East Cherokee St., said he has had an interestin the progress of the nation for a long time. He said he enteredthe mayor’s race as a way to get involved.

“I figured, let’s stop complaining and do something,” saidDodds, who said he has worked in securities trading for severalyears.

Dodds acknowledged a name recognition disadvantage and said thatwould be difficult to overcome in the short time before the specialelection.

“What I expect to do is visit different homes and precincts andsee people that way,” said Dodds, while also mentioning a mediacampaign.

If no mayoral candidate receives a majority on May 18, a runoffbetween the top two vote-getters will be May 25.

A runoff in the city clerk’s race is not possible since thereare only two candidates.

In that race, city clerk’s office bookkeeper Mike Jinks andAmanda Sproles Dann, office manager for the Human PerformanceCompany, are vying for the right to succeed Iris Rudman Smith.Rudman Smith was in her fifth term when she resigned lastmonth.

The winners of the special election will serve the unexpiredterms of mayor and city clerk through June 2005.

Bullock said absentee voting in the special election will beginMonday.

The city clerk’s office will be open regular hours Mondaythrough Friday and from 8 a.m. until noon Saturday, May 15, forabsentee voting. May 15 is the last day to vote absentee in theclerk’s office.

Mailed out absentee ballots must be received by mail in theclerk’s office by 5 p.m. Monday, May 17. As of Friday afternoon,approximately 60 people had already requested absentee ballots besent to them.

“I’m glad to see people are taking an interest,” Bullock saidabout the absentee ballot requests.

Although a judge approved an annexation last week, City AttorneyJoe Fernald said it is not final and would have no effect on thespecial election.

“The only ones that can vote are those presently in the citylimits,” Fernald said.

If there is no appeal, newly-annexed residents will be able tovote in the 2005 regular elections for mayor, aldermen and othercity offices.