Voting Stock.TIF

A voter drops their ballot into a ballot box.

Residents in cities and school districts throughout the Red River Valley will be going to the polls May 1 to determine who will serve on city councils and as school trustees for the coming year. In some instances, voters will decide the fate of bond elections and other matters pertinent to municipalities and school districts.

North Lamar ISD residents are to vote on a $51.55 million bond referendum with five separate propositions, and Prairiland ISD constituents will decide the fate of a $7.5 million bond in one proposition.

Election officials in both municipalities and school districts have approved candidate applications and are now in the process of drawing for positions on the May 1 ballot.

The last day to register to vote, if not already a registered voter, or to make a change of address for the May 1 election is April 1. Early voting begins April 19 and ends April 27.

In Paris, Mihir Pankaj, a local hotelier who serves as a Paris Economic Development Corp. director and Paris ISD trustee, and James O’Bryan, a veterinarian and former member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, are in a race for the District 4 spot on Paris City Council currently held by Steve Clifford, who is term limited. Incumbents Paula Portugal, from District 7, and Linda Knox, from District 5, are unopposed.

In Honey Grove, only incumbent Elderman Kenny Massey is on the ballot for the three seats up for election. Incumbents Thad Weems and Sonia Woods did not file for re-election, according to City Secretary Sally Wright, who said the new council would appoint two aldermen.

In Blossom, Councilor Jeff Stover is unopposed for mayor, and Charlotte Burge, who currently holds the mayor’s title, is unopposed for a council seat. Newcomer Elizabth May is unopposed for a second council position. A third council race has no takers. Incumbents Roger Dougherty Jr and Debra Burge did not seek re-election, according to City Secretary Stacy Prestridge.

In Deport, candidates for council include John Roach, Craig Folse, Danny Turner Jr., Rebecca Crawford and Gene Landreth. Patrick Watson is unopposed in his mayoral run.

At North Lamar ISD, Clint Spencer, Justin Wideman, Jimmy Fendley and Teresa Bussell are on the ballot for positions currently held by Jeff Martin and Kristi Trammel, neither of whom filed for re-election, according to administrative assistant Launa Doyal.

Prairiland ISD trustee incumbents Jerrod Bankhead and Ryan Gordon are up for reelection with no opponents, according to Superintendent Jeff Ballard.

Thanks to the disruption in August, after former mayor Vincent Lum and councilwoman Alice Perry resigned, and the ensuing appointment of different council members, only three positions for the Bogata City Council are unopposed: Mayor Pro Tem Larry Hinsley is running for mayor, Cecil “Tex” Loftin is running for place 1 and LaTausha Morgan is running for place 4, which will be vacated in May by incumbent Don Roach, who has chosen not to run again. For place 2, incumbent Kim Lindsey is running against former city council member Glenda Martin; for place 3, appointed incumbent Bill Mellon is running against Roland Screws; and James Shoemaker, Jimmy Castle and Candace Rosson are all running for place 5.

At the December city council meeting, after a long discussion about the what the state constitution requires, Loftin said he wanted to have three positions up for just one year and the other three up for two years, to get the city council election schedule back in line with state statutes, with only half of the council up for re-election at any given year. The council agreed in January that May’s election would have seats 1, 3 and 5 for one-year terms only.

In Reno, though the council hasn’t voted on it yet, there was no opposition to city council candidates, according to the city secretary.

“We will not be having an election,” Tricia Smith said.

Mayor Bart Jetton, City Councilman Stacey Nichols and City Councilwoman Amanda Willows all signed up for another round on the council, she said.

The same happened in the Detroit City Council races, with Mayor Kenneth Snodgrass, and councilmembers Faye Marshall and Shane Cabler all unopposed, according to Tami Nix, the city secretary.

Clarksville ISD will be cancelling its election as well, with Greg Lewis, LaDonna Cherry and Brena Burgan all running unopposed. However, since one of the board members did resign, Shannon Carson, the superintendent’s secretary, said the board would likely appoint someone to that position when the term expires at the end of May.

For Paris ISD, both incumbents have signed up for their positions, with no one running against them, according to Tammy Harrel, the superintendent’s secretary. George Fisher, the board president, is up for place 1, and Jenny Wilson is up for place 2.

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