Primaries should decide board of aldermen races

February 25, 2013 9:37:33 AM

Carl Smith - [email protected]


If no other candidates qualify for Starkville's municipal elections, the full makeup of the incoming board of aldermen would be decided by the city's May 7 primary. 


The deadline for candidate qualification is 5 p.m. March 8. 


Two sitting aldermen - Ward 1's Ben Carver, a Republican, and Ward 6's Roy A. Perkins, a Democrat - are running uncontested while Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk, Ward 3 Alderman Eric Parker and Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn all face primary challenges only. 


Democrat Lisa Wynn qualified Feb. 8 for the Ward 2 race. She is a trustee for the area's public library system and previously lost a 2011 bid for county tax assessor.  


Republican David Little submitted qualification documents for Ward 3's race on Jan. 4. He serves as Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance District Claims Office's manager and worked for the company for more than 20 years. 


Democrat Janette Self, who Vaughn defeated in the previous city election cycle, served as Ward 7's alderman from 2005-2009. She qualified Feb. 6 for that ward's election. 


New representation from Wards 4 and 5 is guaranteed after Richard Corey and Jeremiah Dumas announced they will not seek re-election this year. 


In Ward 4, Democrats Jason Walker and John Gaskin will face off in the May primary. Walker is a member of the Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission and a Mississippi State University associate professor of landscape architecture. Gaskin, who Parker defeated in the 2009 Ward 3 race, works as a financial analyst for Mossy Oak in West Point. 


Republican Scott Maynard is running unopposed in Ward 5. Maynard, a 42-year resident of Starkville, directs the MSU Career Center. 


The city's mayoral race is the only one guaranteed to make it to the June 4 general election ballot. 


Mayor Parker Wiseman and Mary Lee Beal, a former long-serving city alderman, will face off in the May 7 Democratic Primary. The winner of that race will face Republican mayoral candidate Dan Moreland, a former Starkville Parks Commission Board leader, in June. 


Primary runoffs are scheduled for May 21 as needed. 


Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch