April 26, 2013 11:09:01 AM
Starkville's Ward 2 alderman race will now be decided by the May 7 Democratic Primary after Republican candidate Josiah Buckner dropped out of the race Thursday.
Buckner, who entered the race on the last day of qualification, filed paperwork rescinding his candidacy with the city clerk's office Thursday.
Incumbent Sandra Sistrunk and challenger Lisa Wynn, both Democrats, remain in the race.
In a release, Buckner cited potential conflict with "great opportunities," and family obligations as his reasons for pulling out of the race. He did not elaborate further on the opportunities or potential conflict when contacted.
"I had hoped these opportunities would not affect my position as alderman; however, it has come to my attention that there would be a conflict in this matter," Buckner said in the release. "Aside from my relationship with the Lord, my family is the most important thing to me. Though some of the choices I would make as alderman could positively affect my family's life in Starkville, there are other aspects of being a husband, father and provider for my wife and children I must consider. Right now, I feel like the Lord is leading me in another direction."
With Buckner's exit, Starkville's mayoral election now becomes the sole race voters will decide in the June 4 General Election.
Mayor Parker Wiseman will face Mary Lee Beal, a former long-serving alderman, in their respective May 7 primary. The winner of that race will then face Starkville Parks Commission Chairman Dan Moreland in June.
Two Republicans - incumbent Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver and incoming Ward 5 Alderman Scott Maynard - locked up their respective municipal races in March after no other challengers emerged before the qualification deadline.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch
1. Police: Columbus man pulled knife on woman, rammed car COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. Columbus man accused of molestation COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. Federal agents arrest man on assault charges COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Mother, daughter charged with crack possession STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY