Friday marked the first day that nonpartisan candidates for municipal office could file with the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office and a number of them did just that.
All Jefferson County nonpartisan municipal candidates in the Nov. 4 general election have until noon Friday, Aug. 15, to file a petition, a political practices pledge and an affidavit of eligibility at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
Filings will be accepted during normal business hours between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
White Hall Mayor Noel Foster was among the first to file Friday morning.
“Just as a rule I don’t put off things that need to be done,” Foster said of his decision to file on the first day. “I have a busy schedule next week so I wanted to make sure I got this taken care of first thing.”
Foster said that early filing also lets his constituents know that he takes his candidacy seriously.
The Rev. Jesse Turner filed as a candidate for the Pine Bluff Ward 1 alderman seat currently held by Thelma Walker.
“I thought it was important to get the filings done because I’ve had many people who have asked me if I’m running so I wanted to get that out of the way,” Turner said. “I want to let them know that I am in the race for Ward 1 alderman.”
Senior Deputy Clerk Katherine Wooldridge said that as of 4 p.m. Friday a total of eight candidates — including Foster and Turner — had filed.
These included seven White Hall incumbents: City Clerk Ellen Welch, Ward 2 Position 1 Alderman Scott Ray, Ward 3 Position 1 Alderman David Beck, Ward 2 Position 2 Alderman Dean Dancer, Ward 3 Position 2 Alderman Joel Foster and Ward 1 Position 2 Alderman Ken Smith.
Nonpartisan candidates for municipal office in Altheimer, Redfield, Humphrey, Pine Bluff, Wabbaseka, White Hall and Sherrill also must file prior to the Aug. 15 deadline.
Even though the city of Pine Bluff held partisan primaries for alderman positions in May, candidates can still file petitions and run on a non-partisan basis. There is one seat open in each of the city’s four wards.
The positions of mayor, city clerk and city treasurer are not open.
At White Hall, there are six alderman positions that voters will decide on, as well as the offices of mayor and recorder/treasurer.
The following seats are also being contested:
• Altheimer: Mayor, recorder/treasurer, four alderman seats;
• Humphrey: Mayor, six alderman seats;
• Redfield: Mayor, city clerk, six alderman positions;
• Sherrill: Mayor, five recorder/six reasurer, six alderman seats;
• Wabbaseka: Mayor, recorder/treasurer, five alderman seats.
Candidates may submit press releases and a photo of themselves to The Commercial for publication until noon Friday, Aug. 15, either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, fax to 534-0113 or in person at 300 S. Beech St.