Leader Blues

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

TOP STORY > >Ballot positions set for aldermen races

Leader staff writer

Nine candidates competing for four seats on the Cabot City Council drew for positions on the November ballot Thursday, but four candidates are unopposed and will breeze through this campaign season without having to knock a single door to ask for support.

Former Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh, running for Ward 3, Position 1 against Alderman Tom Armstrong, drew for position 2 on the ballot. The first position is believed to be the best, especially if voters are undecided or don’t know the candidates.

Alderman Teri Miessner, Ward 3, Position 2, has opposition from Rick Prentice, a newcomer to Cabot politics who has attended many council and committee meetings in the past year. He’s listed first.

Ward 4, Position 1 Alderman Becky Lemaster is in a three-way race to keep her seat.

Her opponents are Ann Gilliam, sister of former Alderman Odis Waymack, whom Lemaster defeated in the last election, and Paul “Bucky” Mayfield.

Gilliam drew the first position on the ballot, while Lemaster drew second and Mayfield drew third.

Ward 4, Position 2 Alderman Lisa Brickell is opposed by Ryan Flynn. Flynn will be first on the ballot.

Among the unopposed candidates is Alderman Ed Long, Ward 1, Position 1, who has been on the council for so many terms that he has difficulty remembering how many.

Contacted last week at home, where he is recovering from emergency surgery to correct two blockages in his heart, Long had to refer to a March 1997 resolution appointing him to the council to determine that he has served for a total of almost 10 years.

Four years ago, Long was defeated by Alderman Eddie Cook, Ward 1, Position 2, who has become his ally on the council. Long won his race two years ago against another opponent.

Cook also is unopposed, as is former alderman Patrick Hutton, who served four years on the council before he was defeated by Virgil Teague, who, for health reasons, is not running again for his Ward 2, Position 1 seat.

Also unopposed is Jon Moore, a newcomer to Cabot politics who will replace Alderman Ken Williams, Ward 2, Position 2, who is not seeking re-election.

In other city council races in Lonoke County, Austin Alderman Donna Soellner, Ward 1, Position 6 drew the first place on the ballot, while Steve Bruno drew the second.

That race is the only contested race in Austin.

In Ward’s only contested race, Alderman Charles K. Gastineau, Ward 3, Position 1, drew the first place on the ballot while Ron Bissett drew the second.

In Lonoke, all the races for city council were decided during the May primary; all but one of the candidates is a Democrat; and only one member will be new to the council.

William Todd Wheat will replace Woody Evans in the District 2 position. Incumbent Phillip Howell, an independent, is the only non-Democrat in the group.

In Beebe, there are two contested races for city council out of six seats, and those candidates have also drawn their positions on the ballot.

Alderman Janice Petray is opposed by former Alderman Linda Anthony for her Ward 1, Position 2 seat, while Alderman John Johnson, Ward, 3, Position 1, is opposed by Gary Swicegood.

Anthony drew the first position and Petray drew the second position on the ballot.

Johnson will be first on the ballot and Swicegood is second.

Ward 2, Position 1 Alderman Becky Short, who was city clerk for many years before she ran unopposed for the city council two years ago, was the first candidate to file in Beebe this year.

She and three other candidates have no opposition: Tracy Lightfoot, Ward 2, Position 2; Les Cossey, Ward 3, Position 2; and Harold Welch, Ward 1, Position 1.