Crawford mayor passing the torch after Tuesday's election

May 31, 2009



Helen O''Neal, Crawford''s longtime mayor, will find out who will take her place on Tuesday, when the town will hold its municipal election. 


O''Neal has held the position for 16 years. Now she is ready to step down and allow someone else to lead the town, whose population is 632, according to the U.S. Census Bureau''s 2007 estimate.  


Therapist Isha Colbert, Love & Learn Day Care employee Geraldine Farmer, Sandra Hart and retired Army 1st Sgt. Fred Tolon are competing to replace her. O''Neal hopes they have been praying, she said Friday.  


"It''s not an easy job, as some may think," she said. "You''re in charge of a whole little city, and you want to do best for the town of Crawford, that they are concerned about the people of Crawford, not themselves per se." 


Polls will be open for Crawford residents to vote for their new mayor and Board of Aldermen from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Crawford''s town hall, at 365 Main St. 


O''Neal does not plan to leave town as soon as she leaves office. "Oh, I will still be around," she said in an April interview. "I will be around to help just as much as they need me to. Of course, I don''t want to get in the way or bother them or anything like that." 


The five seats on the town''s Board of Aldermen will be open. Incumbents Larry Caldwell, Brenda Gentry and Willie Parson are running for re-election. Verlinda Humphries, Casey Smith and Vemitra White will also run.  


The town of Crawford does not have wards, and so candidates for mayor and aldermen run at-large, without political party affiliations.