By Bonnie Culverhouse
One of the largest groups of candidates in recent memory will be seeking public offices in Minden alone after 21 individuals filed for seven seats by deadline Friday.
Final day of qualifying started off slowly but picked up speed as the day – and the week – wore on.
“The first day is chaos,” said Webster Parish Clerk of Court Holli Vining. “It slows as time goes on.”
But as qualifying ended at 4:30 p.m. in Webster Parish there were several surprise candidates making a last minute decision to run.
Nick Cox, No Party, drew late opposition for the Minden mayor’s race. Around mid-afternoon on the last day of filing, Billy “Bill” R. Mills, Republican, qualified and at 4:27p.m., District B Councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker, Democrat filed her bid for the seat.
Those running for council for City of Minden include District A – Republican Darrell Morris, Independent Carlton “Buddy” Myles and Democrat Wayne Edwards who was appointed to fill an unexpired term.
District B – Damien Kemp, No Party; Democrat Levon “Charlie” Thomas and Republican Joey Frye are running.
District C candidates – all Democrats – are Javelin Hardy, Maretta Gage, Latasha Anderson Mitchell and incumbent Vincen Bradford.
District D – Republican Habacu Morales, Democrat Lakeyla Jacob Williams and Independent Michael Roy, who also was appointed to fill an unexpired term, are the candidates.
District E – Thomas Adams Jr., Republican; Michael Fluhr, Independent; and Andy Pendergrass, No Party, are vying for the seat that is being vacated by Pam Bloxom who did not seek re-election.
Chief of Police for Minden will be chosen between Jared McIver and Larry Morris Jr., both have No Party affiliations. Independent Will Lynd will keep his badge as chief in Springhill, as he was unopposed. So will Independent Robert Hayden Jr. in Doyline and Republican Paul B. Migues in Heflin.
Cotton Valley has two candidates for police chief: Independent Donald Dillard Jr. and Democrat Sante Douglas Jr.
Dixie Inn will have a choice for mayor and alderman.
Kay Hallmark-Stratton, No Party, who resigned from the mayor’s office a couple of months ago, is seeking to regain the office against Republican Donna Hoffoss, an alderwoman who was appointed mayor when Stratton resigned.
Hoffoss had to resign from her alder seat and Nell Finlay, who was appointed to that position is running for it now. Finlay, a Republican has opposition from another Republican, Anthony Crittendon.
Springhill will choose among three candidates for mayor: Democrat Courtney Allen, Independent Ronnie Hearnsberger and incumbent Ray Huddleston, No Party. Doyline’s Gary T. Carter has opposition from Crystal “Christie” Gates. Both are No Party affiliates.
Republican Ralph James filed unopposed to be Heflin’s mayor.
With 3 to be elected, 3 filed for Doyline alderman: Steven Bridwell, No Party; Jakie Daniels, Republican; and Rachel Muniz, No Party.
Three of 3 Republicans also signed up for alderman in Heflin: Hallie Demoss, Matthew Austin and Robert Stachowicz.
There will be alderman races in all five Springhill districts.
Springhill alderman filers are District 1 – D. Nicole Frazier, Democrat and Danyell Gipson, Independent; District 2 – Johnny Craig, No Party and Dennis Smith, Democrat; District 3 – Independent Patsy Leonard, Stacey Willard, No Party and Debra Rester, Other; District 4 – Alex Edwards and Mike Whitlock, both Republicans; and District 5 – Brandy White, No Party and Republican Derek Melancon.
In the race for Webster Parish School Board, Republican Margaret Edens, District 1, Springhill is unopposed.
In District 2 incumbent Malachi Ridgel did not file, but Debbie W. Thomas and Terrell Mendenhall, both Democrats from Springhill tossed their hats into the school board ring.
District 3 incumbent Independent Charles Strong of Sarepta was unopposed. Shongaloo’s Jeri “JJ” O’Neal, No Party, drew opposition from Republican Jonathan Guthrie.
District 5’s Ronald Rhymes, Republican, of Cotton Valley was unopposed.
Fred Evans of Minden is looking for four more years for District 6, but he is being challenged by Jana Watson. Both are Republicans.
Incumbent Democrat Linda Kinsey, District 7, was unopposed for the seat she has held for many years.
In District 8, Democrat Phillip Michael Smart of Minden, is challenging Glenda Sherrill Broughton, Other, who was appointed to fill her late husband’s seat.
No one filed for District 9’s seat, which is currently occupied by Frankie Mitchell.
Longtime board members Johnnye Kennon, a Democrat from District 10 and Independent Jerry Lott, District 11 were unopposed, as was Republican Susan Addington in District 12.
No one qualified for Justice of the Peace District 3.
The primary election takes place November 8. Polls are open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.
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