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Qualifying for 2009 elections off to slow start

Following a brief first-day flurry, qualifying for the 2009municipal elections was quiet the rest of the week with only twocandidates turning in their statements of intent to run foroffice.

Ward One Alderman Dorsey Cameron will be seeking his fourth termas alderman, so far facing only opponent Elisa Corley Jr. of 416Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Dr. Both candidates are running on theDemocratic ticket.

Also turning in her qualifying statement of intent foralderwoman this week was Democrat Idella Sanders of 925 S. EgyptCircle. Sanders is running in Ward Two.

Current Ward Two Alderman and Mayor Pro-Tempore Terry Bates hasnot yet qualified.

Six candidates signed up to seek elected city offices on Monday,the first day of qualifying.

City Clerk Mike Jinks said qualifying the first week might havegone a little slower than usual because Mayor Bob Massengill willnot be running for re-election.

“I’m thinking there are people out there waiting to see whatother people are doing, trying to decide if they’re going to runand what they’re going to run for,” he said.

So far only Jerry Wilson, who is now president of the LincolnCounty Board of Supervisors, has qualified to run for the office ofmayor.

Candidates can only run for one office, Jinks said, thus makingthe decision a little harder for some candidates.

“You have to run for one office; you can’t run for more than oneat a time,” he said. “That’s why I think there are probably somewaiting to see who’s going to run for what before they turn intheir forms.”

Meanwhile, Alderwoman Mary Wilson, the Rev. Wilson’s wife, hasqualified to run for re-election in Ward Three. She faces oneopponent so far: Roosevelt Collins of 1109 Old Brook Road.

Alderman at-large Les Bumgarner, Ward Four Alderwoman ShirleyEstes, Ward Five Alderman D.W. Maxwell and Ward Six Alderman DavidPhillips have not yet officially declared any intent for any officein the upcoming election. There have been no challengers in any ofthose wards, either.

Jinks and Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson have turned intheir statements of intent to run for re-election. So far both areunopposed.

Forms are still available for anyone interested in seeking anoffice in the upcoming election, Jinks said. The final date forqualifying is Friday, March 6.

The primary elections take place on May 5, with the generalelection falling on June 2.

Jinks said he expects more qualifiers should be bringing intheir paperwork in upcoming weeks.

“It’s hard to say if it will be the next week or so or if it’sgoing to be three or four weeks,” he said. “If they’re thinkingabout running, though, at least my thinking is you go ahead andstate your intent and get out there so you can get started.”