January 10, 2013 10:32:40 AM
Incumbent Fred Stewart will have some competition in the race for the Ward 4 City Council in the upcoming municipal election. Columbus business owner Marty Turner, 35, qualified for the election on Tuesday.
Stewart, who his seeking his fifth term in office, was the last incumbent to qualify. City Registrar Brenda Williams said Stewart qualified on Monday.
If elected, Turner, a 1996 graduate of Columbus High School, said job creation is among his top goals.
"I see some things in my community I know I could help to change," Turner said. "I would like to work with the council to help create more jobs and to help those who are unemployed with their skills in how to apply for and find jobs. I would also like to provide more opportunities for our youth."
With Turner's announcement, four of the city's seven incumbents will face opposition. Incumbent Joseph Mickens will face Columbus business owner Susan Mackay in the race in Ward 2. Mickens defeated Mackay by 46 votes in 2009.
Former Columbus Municipal School District employee Kenneth McFarland has qualified to run against incumbent Kabir Karriem in Ward 5 and Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau board member Whirllie Byrd will challenge Bill Gavin in the race in Ward 6. Mayor Robert Smith, Ward 1 Councilman Gene Taylor and Ward 3 Councilman Charlie Box remain unopposed as of today.
The deadline for qualifying for the municipal races is March 8 at 5 p.m. The primary election will be held May 7. A run-off, if necessary, will held May 21. The general election is June 14, with the winners sworn into office on July 1.
Fewer than 4,000 of the city's almost 18,500 registered voters voted in the 2009 election.
3. Starkville aldermen to consider annexation study areas STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
4. Feeding the needy: Food drives lend helping hand for Thanksgiving COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Brown picks former SHS teacher for recognition STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY