Roy Perkins and Lynn Spruill leave Starkville's City Hall Tuesday after administering their candidacy to run for mayor in 2017. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
January 4, 2017 10:40:37 AM
Twelve Starkville residents officially launched their municipal campaigns Tuesday by completing candidacy forms for their respective races on the first day of qualification.
Every elected seat in Starkville -- from the seven ward positions to its mayoral seat -- saw at least one person qualify, and other candidates are expected to file their intent by the 5 p.m. deadline on March 3.
Here's a look at who qualified Tuesday in Starkville:
Williams emerges in Ward 1 race
The winner of the Ward 1 Republican Primary will now have a second election to compete in after Democrat Christine Williams qualified for the race Tuesday.
Williams is working on her dissertation as a Ph.D. student and is a graduate teaching and research assistant at Mississippi State University's Department of Political Science and Public Administration.
Delivering on their promises to run, both Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver and Starkville Planning and Zoning Commissioner Jason Camp entered the race as Republicans. Carver is seeking a third term, while this year's race marks Camp's first attempt at securing an elected seat.
The winner of the GOP Primary will face Williams in June's General Election.
Gilmore in for Ward 5 race
Ward 5 is guaranteed to hold at least a primary this year after two candidates qualified to represent the party Tuesday.
Starkville Planning and Zoning Commissioner Patrick Miller, who previously confirmed his candidacy to The Dispatch, will face Kayla Gilmore in May's Democratic Primary.
Gilmore, who owns KMG Creations Dance, Fitness and Productions, has left her position on the city election commission in order to run for office. The board of aldermen will soon take applications to fill her vacant seat.
Ward 5 Alderman Scott Maynard, a Republican, is not seeking a second term and will conclude his public service on June 30. He ran unopposed in 2013.
Vaughn faces challenge
Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn now faces a General Election challenge for his seat.
Roben W. Dawkins qualified as a Republican Tuesday. If no other challengers emerge, the pair will face off in June's General Election. Dawkins is a senior pilot at the MSU Flight Department.
Vaughn, a Democrat, is seeking his third term, while Dawkins is a first-time candidate for Ward 7.
Ward 2 rematch building
A repeat of 2013's Ward 2 Democratic Primary between Sandra Sistrunk and Lisa Wynn is close to coming to fruition as former Alderman Sandra Sistrunk qualified Tuesday.
Wynn previously announced her impending candidacy in a press conference at City Hall last year.
Incumbents qualify in 3, 4 and 6
No challengers emerged in the races for Wards 3, 4 and 6 Tuesday after incumbents David Little, Jason Walker and Roy A. Perkins made their re-election campaigns official.
Both Little, a Republican, and Walker, a Democrat, are seeking second terms after winning in 2013, while Perkins, the board's longest-serving alderman and a Democrat, is campaigning for his seventh term in office.
Spruill in for mayor
Former Starkville Chief Executive Officer Lynn Spruill also officially qualified as a Democrat for Starkville's mayoral race Tuesday.
Spruill, who served as the mayor of Addison, Texas, from 1988-93, is expected to face opposition from local attorney Johnny Moore. When announcing his candidacy last year, Moore did not say under which party's umbrella he would run.
Moore did not submit his qualifying paperwork Tuesday.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch
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