Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

April 26, 2014

Cities, schools prep for early voting

CHEROKEE COUNTY — Early voting begins Monday and continues through May 6 for city council and school board races across the state, with May 10 slated as election day.  

Several races in Cherokee County were canceled after municipal and school leaders invoked the Texas Election Code, which states an election may be canceled if no other candidates have filed opposing a candidate vying for a municipal position; the same holds true for school board candidates.


City council members canceled the Dist. 2 race after only one candidate – Arron Swink – applied for the seat. He will be sworn into office with the victor of a Dist. 2 race. Vying for the Dist. 2 seat are incumbent Jeff Smith and candidates Darrell Prcin and Kara Hancock.

JISD elections

In local school board races, Place 3 and Place 4 trustee seats are up for grabs. Place 3 candidates include Pamelia Adams, Jimmy Brown and Al Chavira, while Ann Chandler and Cassie Devillier are vying for Place 4.

Early voting will be held at the Jacksonville Public Library for both municipal and school board races, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Extended voting hours will be offered from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 30 and May 1.

The local library will serve as the polling site for the May 10 election, with voting hours from 7 a.m. to

7 p.m.


An election to fill three municipal seats was canceled by city leaders because no opposing candidates filed for seats held by incumbents Don Jones – Dist. 3, Don Woddard – Dist. 4 or Sam Florian, Dist. 5.

However, in local school board races, candidates Tracy Session, Frank G. Dobrovolny and Sheila Bradley are vying for an unexpired two-year term, while Bruce Bradley – an incumbent – Teresa Phifer and John Hood have filed for two full three-year terms on the Rusk school board.

School board elections will be held at the RISD office, 201 E. 7th St. Early voting is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 28 through May 2, as well as on May 5-6. Election day hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 10.


Although Places 2 and 4 on the Cuney City Council that were up for election attracted no candidates, and Place 6 – which doubles as the mayor's position – drew a single candidate, council members have not yet canceled the calling of a May 10 election, due to a lack of quorum.

The council is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Monday in the Cuney Municipal Building to vote on the matter, according to a meeting agenda posted Friday afternoon by City Secretary Brenda Lankford,

Mayor Pro Tem Charles Cross is the candidate who filed for Place 6.

Other contested elections

• Early voting for Troup municipal races, which drew four candidates for three spots, begins Monday at the Cameron J. Jarvis-Troup Municipal Library from 8 to 5 p.m. and runs through May 6. Extended voting hours will be held May 5-6 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the library, where the May 10 election will also be held.

Bill Lacy and incumbent John Whitsell have filed to run for Troup mayor, while incumbents Joe Carlyle – Place 2 council member – and Carole Wilson, the Place 5 council member, have filed for re-election to the city council.

• In Bullard, six individuals are vying for three spots on the local school board. In the Place 1 contest, incumbent Tony Johnson and John Jacobs filed for candidacy; the Place 2 race attracted candidates Brian Whatley, the incumbent, and Dr. Fred Zachary; the Place 3 contest features incumbent Richard Burrow and Dr. John Alexander.

Voters may cast ballots at First United Methodist Church of Bullard, Harper Hall, 204 S. Rather. Early voting hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 28 through May 2, with extended hours offered from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 5-6. May 10 election day hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the church.

Canceled races

• Both city and school board races in New Summerfield were canceled due to uncontested candidates.

In uncontested races for seats on the council, incumbents Billy Hall and Don Williams were the only two filing for candidacy. Meanwhile, only Michael Davis and J.B. Neeley filed for vacancies on the school board.

• Races in Wells also were canceled. In city races, only incumbent Mayor C.W. Williams and council members Billie Petty and Robert Kalka filed for office, while only school board incumbents Donnie Carver and T. Wayne Montes filed for candidacy in their race.

• Alto's school board and municipal races were canceled when no opposing candidates filed for seats on either board.

Britton Tilley and Lionel Whitaker – who filed for two at-large positions on the local school board – will be sworn into office after the May 10 election date.

Incumbent city council members Al Thacker, Randy Selman and Carey Palmer – along with mayoral candidate Jimmy Allen – also will be sworn into office after the May 10 election.

• Only three candidates filed for three positions open on the Troup ISD board of trustees: Place 1 incumbent Andy M. Griffin Jr.; Place 2 incumbent Melissa Young and candidate Shane Jasper, who filed for Place 3 on the school board. Subsequently, trustees canceled the May 10 election.

• Bullard civic leaders recently declared uncontested candidates in the Bullard municipal race as elected, voting to cancel a May 10 election under the Texas Election Code due to lack of opposition. Applicants included incumbent council member Shirley Coe, David Rhodes and Jason Hendrix. They will be sworn into office after the May election.

• Reklaw municipal elections – which drew only incumbent candidates Mayor Harlan Crawford, Alderman #3 Betty Jackson and Alderman #5 Bob Parrott for three vacancies – also were cancelled.

The last day to apply for a ballot by mail for municipal or school board elections is Thursday, May 1, according to the Texas Secretary of State.

These races are separate from a May 27 primary runoff election in Cherokee County.

Early voting for the primary runoff is slated May 19-23; the last day to register to vote in the runoff election is Monday, with May 16 set as the last day to apply for ballot by mail, according to the Texas Secretary of State's office.

Photo identification will be required for voting in person.

Approved forms of identification include a Texas state driver's license; a state personal identification card issued by DPS; a Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS; a state concealed handgun license issued by DPS; a U.S. military photo ID card; a U.S. citizenship certificate containing a person's photograph; or a current U.S. passport.

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