Some of this year's city races are beginning to take shape, and voters who have already made up their mind will be able to cast their votes beginning Monday during early voting.
Early voting begins for all cities Monday, except for Newborn, which has no contested races. Oxford also has no contested races, but it does have a referendum on a $10,000 homestead exemption for owner-occupied homes.
Early voting for all cities will run Monday through Friday until Nov. 4, the Friday before the Nov. 8 election.
Absentee ballots can also be picked up at respective early voting locations.
For those voters who haven't made up their mind, Covington, Porterdale and Social Circle all have upcoming candidate forums. Check the paper and covnews.com for more details.
Covington's ballot will have a referendum on Sunday package sales of alcohol, as well as three contested races, including:Mayor - Ronnie Johnston and Bobby Sigman; (Rev. Tim Walden is an official write-in candidate)
East ward post 2 - Ronald Martin incumbent Mike Whatley
East ward post 3 - Lamar Brown and incumbent Keith Dalton
Covington's early voting will take place between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Newton County Board of Elections, 1113 Usher St, Covington.
Early voting for Oxford's homestead exemption will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Oxford City Hall, 110 West Clark St.
Porterdale will also have a referendum for Sunday package sales of alcohol on its ballot and has four contested races: Mayor - Arline Chapman and Bobby Hamby (incumbent)
Council post 1 - incumbent Robert Foxworth and Anita Rainey
Council post 2 - incumbent Linda Finger and Darlene Savage
Council post 3 (two-year term) - Terry A. Barnes; John Wayne Maddox Jr.; Tim Savage
Porterdale's early voting will take place at city hall, 2400 Main St., from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Fridays. (Porterdale's actual election on Nov. 8 will take place at the city's fire department, 2800 Main St.)
Mansfield has four races on the ballot, but only the council post 1 seat between incumbent Orville McGunigal and Marty Smallwood is expected to be contested.
Originally, all four races had two candidates, but a mayoral and post 2 candidate have already dropped out of the race. In addition, council post 2 candidate Lisa Dunn is expected to drop out of the race next week.
As a result, Estona Middlebrooks will become the city's new mayor, post 2 incumbent Helen Robertson will be reelected and David NaDell will become the new post 4 council member.
Social Circle has a handful of contested races and early voting for the city will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Walton County Courthouse, 303 S. Hammond Drive, Monroe.
Here are Social Circle's contested races:
Mayor - Joel Biggs, Hal Dally, Hosea Jackson and Barron Steward
Council post 4 - Crenan Mills and Steve Shelton
City school post 1 - Larry Cross and Shannon Thornton Davis
City school post 3 - John Callahan, Alan D. Howard, Sr. and Robbie Groves