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More candidates sign up for 2013 municipal contests

The field of candidates for city elections continues to expand, with two challengers eyeing a seat at the city board and an incumbent entering the race late last week.

     Ward One Alderman Dorsey Cameron filed papers Thursday declaring his intent to seek a fifth term. Cameron is a Democrat.

     Also Thursday, Fletcher Grice qualified as a Republican to run for the Ward Five alderman seat.

     Grice previously ran against Ward Five incumbent D.W. Maxwell in 2009. Maxwell has yet to enter the race this year.

     The first challenger to a candidate with a campaign already under way looks to be Ed Thompson. He’s seeking to qualify as a candidate for alderman at large.

     Thompson qualified Friday as a Republican but subsequently withdrew as a Republican and now plans to run as an independent.

     To run as independent, candidates must submit a petition signed by 50 registered voters. Thompson said he expects to submit that sometime this week.

     Once he’s approved to run, he’ll be challenging incumbent Karen Sullivan, a Republican seeking a second term.

     These candidates join Ward Three’s Mary Wilson and Ward Four’s Shirley Estes, both incumbents, as candidates in aldermen race so far.

     Incumbent City Clerk Mike Jinks is also pursuing re-election. He’s qualified as a Republican and hasn’t picked up an opponent yet.

     No one has qualified yet to run for mayor or for the Wards Two and Six aldermen seats.

     At Ward One, Cameron called the decision run again an easy one.

     “My heart is still in it,” he said. “It’s something I enjoy doing, and if I can make a difference, that’s rewarding enough for me.”

     The Ward One representative hopes to make economic development a major priority during his hoped-for next term.

     In particular, Cameron wants to finally see a tenant at the Linbrook Business Park.

     “We’ve got $5 million invested, so we need to get some return on it,” he said.

     Infrastructure improvement, including maintenance of streets and water and sewage lines, also tops Cameron’s priorities.

     The next board will also have to contend with the continuing challenge of strained budgets, said the four-term alderman.

     “We haven’t yet come out of our recession,” Cameron said. “We’re on our way out, but I wouldn’t say we’re out yet.”

     In the contest for the Ward Five post, Grice hopes he’ll be a familiar name to voters following his 2009 run.

     The Republican candidate was defeated by Maxwell, a Democrat, 255-189 in the 2009 city elections.

     Grice intends to make as much contact with Ward Five’s voters as possible.

     “I’ll just be getting out there pounding the pavement,” he said.

     Expanding city infrastructure to annexed areas and increasing financial support of law enforcement are priorities for Grice, he said.

     The GOP hopeful retired from Delphi Packard in 2006 with 30 years experience at the plant. He continues to operate a small lawn care business.

     Thompson preferred to speak about his candidacy after he officially qualifies as an independent.

     Qualifying for city elections continues through March 8, with party primaries on May 7 and the general election scheduled for June 4.