Filing for public office in our parish began Wednesday and there were already some interesting names on the list in the city of Minden with deadline still two days away. And, we’re told, the list of challengers to incumbents could continue to grow, as will the list for the only open seat (that of Pam Bloxom in District E).
But first, let’s take a look at an issue that isn’t about filing for city council or mayor. It’s about what didn’t get done about the current vacancy at the top of city government. We heard new mayor pro tem Wayne Edwards said his focus was on the city budget, not on getting his council together to name an interim. He was true to his word. That decision might prove costly.
Now that the city’s deadline to name an interim has passed, the pickem job will belong to Gov. John Bel Edwards. We’d bet the only people he knows up here are those who write checks. Big checks. He most likely will name someone whose hand he has never shaken. But, he will know something about them from those he knows.
At first, we had heard former mayor Tommy Davis was a consideration. Since that time, however, we’re told another name or two has been floated. Consider: Edwards is a term limited Democrat. That means he can pick whomever he pleases and not worry about political fallout from this part of his state. Are the other mentions Democrats? Wait until after filing deadline ends Friday.
Now, about those council and mayor filings as of Wednesday afternoon. In Wayne Edwards’ District A, the incumbent had not filed, but is expected to do so. But he’s already drawn two challengers. Darrell Morris and Buddy Myles have lined up to run, and we hear there’s another potential challenger planning to add his name to the list. The pro tem apparently isn’t scaring off competition.
Apparently Terika Williams-Walker in District B isn’t immune to challenge either. Adding his name to the list challenging incumbents is Damien Kemp, and he might not be the only potential candidate. Ms. Williams-Walker could be waiting until the last minute to see what’s happening up the ballot before deciding which chair she’ll seek. At least that’s the word on several streets in town. To B or not to B.
And then there’s Vincen Bradford, incumbent in District C. Seems “Cheese” is being targeted by Javelin Lashundria Hardy and we hear she’s serious about this campaign. We also hear there may be another one or two individuals lined up to file later. Mr. Bradford had not filed on opening day, and there’s no way to reach him either by phone or email. That’s something that hasn’t changed.
Over in District D, Michael Roy is being challenged by Habacu Morales, owner of a popular eatery in town. Talking with a friend, that was a bit of surprise. But, the friend attributed that challenge to the perception that the current council simply couldn’t get along. Among the incumbents, though, Mr. Roy was considered plain-spoken, not hostile. This could be a race that gauges how local voters view incumbents.
District E will be the only race that doesn’t feature an incumbent. Pam Bloxom opted out of seeking another term, and the list of potentials to replace her is growing already. Filing for the open seat to date are Andy Pendergrass and Thomas Adams Jr. Both are good men and will run good races. But we’re also told another name could be entering the race later in filing. That name will be familiar we’re told.
Who will be Minden’s next mayor could be the big question. By Wednesday afternoon, only Nick Cox had filed for the office. He’s been an announced candidate for months and was preparing to run against the late Terry Gardner. We hear through a reliable source that there are one, perhaps two other names that might give it a try.
One of those names will be instantly recognized if the decision is made to pull the trigger for the top spot. But, our source says, that decision will come at the last minute of filing, perhaps around the close of filing on Friday. We’re told the decision could B depending on whether or not another challenger jumps in. It’s a deal that could B made in about the time it takes a cookie to bake.