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Posted: August 30, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Qualifying week for council seats begins Monday

Applications due by Friday evening

Residents planning on running for their local city council will be able to qualify for the Nov. 3 municipal election beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Monday. Council seats are up for election in all of Newton County’s municipalities.

In Covington, three council seats are up for election: Post 1 East, currently held by John Howard; Post 2 West held by Hawnethia Williams; and Post 3 West held by Ocie Franklin.

Howard, who was elected in 1993, has said he will not run for reelection, and Chris Smith, co-owner of Newton Electric Supply, has announced that he plans to run for that seat.

Williams, who was elected in 2006, is expected to run for reelection, and is expected to once again square off against former Councilman Charles Wilborn, who said he is planning to run.

Franklin, who was elected in 2006, could not be reached for comment about whether she will seek reelection. No one has announced publicly that he or she is running for Post 3 West.

The qualifying fee for a Covington city council seat is $180, three percent of the annual salary, and interested parties can apply at the Newton County Board of Elections, located in the Newton County Administration building at 1113 Usher St.

In Porterdale, council seats 3, 4 and 5 are up for election. Post 3 is held by Arline Chapman, who was elected in 2008 to serve the remainder of the term of a councilmember who was moving out of the city. Chapman has said she will seek reelection. Post 4 is held by Mike Harper and Post 5 is held by Lowell Chambers. No one has publicly announced that he or she will be seeking those seats.

The qualifying fee for Porterdale city council seats is $15, and residents can qualify at Porterdale City Hall.

In Oxford, three seats are up for election: Post 4, held by Emma Lou Patterson, who has announced she is not running this year; Post 5, held by James Windham, who has verbally said he’s going to run for reelection; and Post 6, held by Terry Smith who has also said he plans on running for reelection, according to Oxford City Clerk Carol Poole. The qualifying fee for Oxford city council seats is $75, and residents can qualify at Oxford City Hall.

All four Newborn city council seats and the mayoral position will be up for election in November. Town Clerk Lisa Rowe said Newborn will have staggered terms for the first time in the town’s history. Therefore, Post 1 and 2 will have two-year terms, while Post 3, Post 4 and the mayor will be elected to 4-year terms.

Currently, Post 1 is held by Wanda Cummings, Post 2 by James King, Post 3 by Suzanne Bean, Post 4 by Dennis Fincher and the Mayor is J.W. Cummings. Rowe said no one has publicly announced that they are running for election. The qualifying fee for Newborn council seats is $25 and the fee for the mayor is $30, and residents can qualify at Newborn Town Hall.

In Mansfield, posts 3, 4 and 5 are up for election. Post 3 is held by Lyra Cocchi, Post 4 is held by Larry Haigwood and Post 5 is held by Larry Cummins. Mansfield Ciy Clerk Pat Mullins said she believes all three members are planning to run for reelection.

Residents can qualify for local city council seats all this week until 4:30 p.m. Friday. Unless otherwise stated all terms are for four years. In order to qualify, residents will have to complete a notice of candidacy and should bring a photo ID. For more details about any election, contact the individual city halls.

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