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Coon not seeking reelection, school board race set for November

A challenger will join the Lincoln County School Board unopposed in the November election after the longtime incumbent he was facing opted not to qualify.

District 1 Trustee Kay Coon did not qualify for her chance at another term on the board by the 5 p.m. deadline Friday, leaving candidate Justin Laird on a hassle-free course to a six-year term. The newest candidates to qualify during the final week Joanna Posey, who will compete in a three-way race against Timothy Cunningham and recent filer Lora Hedgepeth. The District 5 race is a special election to fill out the four-year remainder of the existing term.

District 2 Trustee Johnny Hart will face retired Loyd Star coach Billy Vaughn in the race for that seat, which is for a six-year term.

Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield, who watched the clock tick up from 4:59 p.m. Friday from the courthouse lobby before shutting down for the weekend, said he was surprised the school board race did not draw more candidates.

“It’s hard to believe. I personally felt like we would have at least two or three people for each position, just because of all the talk about the school board, and all the people showing interest,” he said.

The school board races will be decided during the general election on Nov. 6. The three districts are on the ballot to correct the board’s election cycle getting out-of-sync with the state election calendar years ago.

Bairfield said his office would begin printing sample ballots in preparation for absentee voting, which opens Sept. 24.