March 9, 2013 8:20:45 PM
Carl Smith - email@example.com
Two Republicans - incumbent Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver and incoming Ward 5 Alderman Scott Maynard - locked up their respective municipal races Friday after no other challengers emerged before the qualification deadline.
Primaries will decide most Starkville municipal elections in May, but two races will be decided June 4.
First, 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 then face Republican mayoral candidate Dan Moreland, the Starkville Parks Commission Board leader.
A full election for Ward 2's seat will also be held this cycle after Republican Josiah Bucknar qualified this week. He will face the winner of May's Democratic primary contest between incumbent Sandra Sistrunk and Lisa Wynn.
Five-term Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins faces a re-election fight for the first time in his career. Perkins has run unopposed in each election since unseating a former alderman in 1993. Lerin Pruitt, the son of Maben Mayor Larry Pruitt, will challenge Perkins in the May Democratic primary.
Two other sitting aldermen - Ward 3's Eric Parker, a Republican, and Ward 7's Henry Vaughn, a Democrat - also face primary battles.
Republican David Little submitted qualification documents for Ward 3's race on Jan. 4. He serves as the Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance District Claims Office's manager and has 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 for this year's race on Feb. 6.
Besides Ward 5, new representation is also guaranteed for Ward 4. Incumbents Jeremiah Dumas and Richard Corey separately announced they would not seek re-election for their respective seats.
Democrats Jason Walker and John Gaskin will face off in the May primary. Gaskin, who Parker defeated in the 2009 Ward 3 race, works as a financial analyst for Mossy Oak in West Point. Walker is a Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission member and a Mississippi State University associate professor of landscape architecture.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch