Election Day is Tuesday in Covington and Mansfield, as each city has one city council race and each has interesting subplots.
Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Covington City Hall, 2194 Emory St., and the Mansfield Community Center, on Ga. Highway 11 just south of Mansfield City Hall and Kellogg Street.
Results for Covington will be announced at the Newton County Board of Elections, 1113 Usher St., Covington, after the polls close and votes are tabulated. Mansfield’s results are expected to be announced at the Community Center.
Incumbent Chris Smith is being challenged by Maurice Carter for the city’s post 1 east ward seat.
As of late Friday afternoon, 309 east ward residents had voted early at the Newton County Board of Commissioners office and 17 of 24 absentee ballots had been returned, said Angela Mantle, assistant director of the Board of Elections.
Absentee ballots must be received at the Board of Elections before 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Smith was first elected in 2010, when he ran unopposed to fill the seat being vacated by longtime councilman John Howard.
Carter is the husband of former Covington mayor Kim Carter, who served for one term.
Smith is co-owner of Newton Electric Supply, where he runs day-to-day operations.
Smith is on the advisory committee at Georgia Piedmont Technical College for the paramedic program, is the city’s representative on the Newton College and Career Academy Board of Directors, is a member of the funding group at The Center for Community Preservation and Planning, and is chairman of the administrative board at Covington First United Methodist Church, where he also serves on the finance committee.
Carter is a delivery project executive with IBM Global Services, where he has worked for 17 years and works with a portfolio of $2.9 billion in revenue.
He is a board member and past chair of nonprofit Newton Trails, a board member with Smart Growth Newton County, a committee member with the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce’s Tourism Advisory Committee and is a former board member for the Washington Street Community Center.
Mansfield has a rare election that pits two sitting council members against each other, after longtime Councilman Larry Cummins switched seats to run against post 4 incumbent Lisa Dunn.
Mansfield has no separate districts or wards, and, though it has separate seats, all members represent the entire city.
Cummins holds the post 5 seat, but decided to run against Dunn instead of seeking reelection for his same seat; Matt Clark will take over Cummins seat, as he is running unopposed.
When reached this week, Cummins declined to answer any questions, saying he and Dunn had decided not to do any interviews leading up to the election.
The reason Cummins is running against Dunn is presumably tied to the recent months of heated discussion among the council and mayor regarding unauthorized expenditures made by the mayor and the city (see Mansfield story on Page 1A and Page 7A).
Cummins is the owner of Dogwood Truck Sales in Lithonia.
He previously ran unopposed for reelection in 2009.
Dunn works for a software development company. She previously won the 2011 election to replace Larry Haigwood, who died in December 2009 shortly after being reelected. The term was for two years.
In the 2011 election, the post 1 race had a total of 55 voters and the post 4 race had 53 voters.
As of late Friday, 41 people had voted early at City Hall, according to Mansfield employee Heather Jackson.