by Danny Wade
Humboldt voters will go to the polls next Tuesday to select a mayor, aldermen and school board members. Voters will also decide if Humboldt will continue to allow liquor by the drink.
With the mayor’s race, all five aldermen and four of the five school board seats up for grabs to be serve the next four years, there should be a good turnout at polling locations.
Mayor Marvin Sikes is seeking re-election. Sikes won a four-man race in 2013 to serve as Humboldt’s mayor. He will face off against newcomer Tammie Porter.
All five city aldermen are seeking re-election and with four of the five seats locked in with only one candidate, the city board will look familiar come January. This is a complete turnaround from the 2013 election when four new aldermen beat the incumbents and were sworn into office.
Ward 1 incumbent James Shivers is being challenged by former alderman, Bobby Barnett. Shivers beat Barnett in 2013. This seat is the only one being challenged this election.
In Ward 2 Leon McNeal is unopposed as are Don Graves for Ward 3, Ward 4 Bob Pruitt and Donna Johnson in Ward 5.
If Shivers and Sikes win their bid for re-election, the Humboldt City Board will remain the same.
For the Humboldt School Board race, three seats will be filled along with the remaining term of another.
Ward 4 school board seat normally would not be on this election cycle but when Lee Williams moved to Texas, he resigned his position on the school board. Wayne McLemore was appointed as an interim board member until the next city election, which is next week. McLemore is seeking to fill the remainder of Williams’ four year term and is running unopposed. He will hold the seat for two years and the Ward 4 seat will be up for election in 2019.
Ward 2 seat currently being held by McNeal will also be on the 2019 ballot on the regular election cycle.
Tuesday, voters in Ward 1 will choose from three candidates. Incumbent Terry Johnson is being challenged by Thomas Porter, who had served on the school board, and Bobby Barnett, who is also seeking the city board seat. If no candidate receives more than 50-percent of the votes, a runoff election of the two highest vote-getters will be held to determine the winner.
Challenger Lori Coleman will face off against incumbent Phillip Hardee for the Ward 3 school board seat.
Incumbent “Papa” Chuck Samples will face competition from newcomer Valeria Smith-Wedley.
Humboldt voters will also determine the fate of liquor by the drink. Consumption of liquor on premises was approved in Humboldt in 2008. Since liquor was passed, no business has applied for a license. But when liquor by the drink was passed it also allowed bars and clubs to sell beer until 3 a.m.
With so much on the line, Humboldt polls should be a busy place next Tuesday.