Tuesday brings end to city elections

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, June 2, 2013

     On Tuesday, Brookhaven voters will have the opportunity to select municipal officials  – including a new mayor – but liquor probably promises to be the main draw.

     Each citywide elected office is up for grabs during Tuesday’s municipal elections: mayor, alderman at large, city clerk and chief of police.

     But in a first-time event, Brookhaven voters will choose whether to allow alcohol sales with no Lincoln County residents outside the city limits participating in the vote.

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     Brookhaven residents may cast a ballot either “for” or “against” the sale of alcoholic liquors.

     If the “for” votes carry the day, city aldermen will have the power to decide how liquor sales will be regulated.

     Aldermen would have the power to restrict alcoholic beverages to by-the-glass sales in restaurants only or to allow package stores and other venues for liquor sales.

     Voters won’t be able to directly influence that decision at the polls, though.

     Only liquor is at stake in Tuesday’s referendum. Tuesday’s vote won’t impact the legality of beer sales in Brookhaven.

     In the race to be the next mayor of Brookhaven, the decision of incumbent Les Bumgarner not to pursue a second term has left an open slate of candidates competing to replace him.

     Joe Cox, owner of a local insurance business, is making a run as a Republican.

     Current Ward Five Alderman D.W. Maxwell is running as an independent for the mayor’s office. The two-term alderman won both his previous races as a Democrat.

     Maxwell works in the oil and gas industry.

     The other independent candidate in the race, Rose “Polly” Powell owns a local restaurant.

     David Douglas Smith III, the Democratic candidate, is a truck driver. He’s the only one of the four mayoral candidates to have faced a primary opponent prior to this Tuesday’s vote.

     Except for Maxwell, all candidates would be new faces in city government.

     The alderman at large post sees incumbent Karen Sullivan hoping to fend off two challengers. Sullivan, a Republican candidate, is a retired school teacher.

     Democratic challenger Andre’ Spiller joins independent Ed Thompson, a business owner, in running an opposition race for the alderman at large seat.

     Two candidates with a law enforcement background hope to succeed the retiring Arlustra “Pap” Henderson as Brookhaven’s chief of police.

     Current Assistant Chief Bobby Bell is the Democratic candidate in the race. He’s competing against retired highway patrolman Ted Goleman, a GOP candidate.

     In the city clerk’s race, incumbent Mike Jinks hopes to hang on for another term after facing no opponents in the previous two elections.

     A Republican, he’ll face opposition from Democratic challenger Maxine McCoy Jones. She’s a youth court counselor in Pike County.

     Brookhaven is one of very few municipalities in Mississippi to elect a police chief and city clerk.

     Ward Six voters will have to choose between incumbent David Phillips, an independent, and his Democratic opponent David McCoy.

     Phillips, a local business owner, has served one full term on the board after winning a 2008 special election.

     McCoy, who works at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center, would be new to city government.

     In wards One through Five, only one candidate is on the ballot for each ward. The presumptive aldermen in those wards are Randy Belcher, Ward One, Terry Bates, Ward Two, Mary Wilson, Ward Three, Shirley Estes, Ward Four, and Fletcher Grice, Ward Five.

     Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

     Ward One’s voting precinct is at Cloverdale Acres Administration Building, Ward Two’s at Alexander Junior High’s auditorium, Ward Three’s at the Lincoln County-Brookhaven Government Complex, Ward Four’s at the Brookhaven Elementary School auditorium, and Ward Six’s at Mamie Martin Elementary School’s auditorium.

     There will be no runoff following the June 4 race; all results are final.