Qualifying in municipal races begins in July

Published 3:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2016

The presidential election has received a lot of attention recently, but Pike County residents should also be aware of the municipal elections coming up in August.

Alton Starling, Troy city clerk, outlined when municipal election events would happen for Troy, Banks, Brundidge and Goshen.

“Qualifying begins July 5,” he said. “Then it ends two weeks later on July 19.”

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Elections in each of the municipalities will include the offices of mayor and council members. The races are open, meaning candidates do not declare a party preference and no primary elections are held.

The election will be held August 23, and voters can cast an absentee vote before August 18 if needed. Starling said ballots are usually ready within a week of the final day of qualifying, and that Troy residents can apply for absentee ballots in his office. Brundidge, Goshen and Banks residents should check with the town clerk’s office for absentee ballot information.

Although qualifying is still a month away, several candidates have already announced bids for Troy City Council seats. Incumbents Charlie “Sarge” Dunn in District 1 and Johnny Witherington in District 4 have both said they plan not to seek re-election. Mayor Jason Reeves and council members Greg Meeks, Marcus Paramore and Dejerilyn King Henderson all have announced plans to seek re-election.

Stephanie Baker, director of market development with KW Plastics recycling division, announced her bid for the District 4 seat in March.

“It has been very rewarding to be involved in so many aspects of the City of Troy, from local nonprofits, to cultural arts initiatives, to business development projects,” she said. “I have a unique perspective and understanding of the vital role the public sector has in our industries, our charitable interests, and our quality of life. I consider serving on the council to be an extension of my service to our community.”

Robert Jones, owner of Crowe’s Chicken, announced his bid for the District 1 seat earlier this month.

“As an entrepreneur and business owner for the past 17 years and a lifelong resident of the city of Troy, I consider myself both blessed and privileged to live and work in our beautiful city,” he said. “Over the years, I have had the opportunity to see change an growth in troy but realize there are a number of things that are needed to continue to progress and move our community forward, particularly in District 1.”

Also running for the District 1 seat is Anthony Jackson, who works with the Food Assistance Division for the Alabama Department of Human Resources, which administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Jackson said he believes the opportunities he had to learn about different cultures and governments during his 11 years in the U.S. Navy have provided some of the skills required for effective political leadership.

Wandra Moultry, former District 5 council member, said Friday she will be a candidate for the seat again this year. “Serving others is my purpose in life,” she said, adding that she served 16 years on the council and has served as director of Organized Community Action Program for seven years.

In Brundidge, Pike County District 5 Commissioner Charlie Harris has begun campaigning for mayor.

A campaign handout for Harris said he will reduce utility bills by 5 percent, find ways to transport senior citizens and veterans to hospitals, doctors and grocery stores, improve recreational facilities, bring a new grocery store and other businesses, and improve on water lines, streets and the fire department.

Incumbent Mayor Jimmy Ramage declined to comment on whether he would seek re-election.

Goshen Mayor Jack Waller, and Banks Mayor Lisa Culpepper could not be reached for comment before publishing time.