Four challenging Sikes for mayor of Humboldt
by Danny Wade
The deadline to qualify for the upcoming Humboldt election has passed and the ballot is now set. Two things are certain—the city board will have a different look, while the school board will remain the same. That is unless others qualify as write-in candidates for school board seats.
Incumbent mayor, Marvin Sikes, has four challengers in the November 2 election. He will face off against Thomas Emery, Terry Johnson, Christine Warrington and Yahweh Yahweh (male).
With five candidates running for mayor, there is the possibility of a runoff election in December. According to Humboldt’s charter, elected officials must receive at least 50-percent plus one vote of the total number of votes in order to be elected. Five candidates could very well force for a runoff between the top two vote getters.
For Humboldt’s five aldermen positions, only three incumbents are seeking re-election. Of those three, only Ward 5’s Monte Johnson is unopposed. Johnson was appointed to the position to replace the vacant seat his late wife held for years.
In Ward 2, incumbent Leon McNeal will faceoff against two challengers. Lenford Carr and Yahweh Yahweh Yahweh (female) have both qualified to be on the ballot. McNeal is the longest tenured city board member currently. Carr has experience in government serving as both a Gibson County commissioner and a Humboldt School Board member in years past. Yahweh is currently a county commissioner as well. Ward 2 alderman seat could end up in a runoff as well if a candidate does not receive over half the total votes.
Ward 3, incumbent alderman Don Graves has competition this year with newcomer Julie Jones-Coleman vying for the seat.
Wards 1 and 4 will have new faces at the board come January 2022 with incumbents James Shivers (Ward 1) and Bob Pruett (Ward 4) not seeking re-election. Pruett maintained all along that two terms would be all he planned to serve. Shivers is also a two-term alderman currently.
Alderman Ward 1 will have Tammie Porter and Sarah Shivers on the ballot. Shivers is a newcomer to the political arena while Porter has run for office in the past. Porter challenged Mayor Sikes in the 2017 election where he ran away with 75-percent of the mayoral votes.
Ward 4’s ballot will have Brittney Keller and Shane Lynch facing off. Lynch threw his hat in the 2013 mayoral race along with Sikes and Thomas Red Porter, all challenging former mayor Allen Barker. In that race Sikes and Porter were in a runoff election in which Sikes overwhelmingly won the mayor’s seat. Keller is another newcomer to the political arena.
Three of the five school board seats are up for grabs in the November election but no candidates qualified to face the incumbents.
In Ward 1, Terry Johnson will run unopposed. Johnson is also seeking the mayor’s seat.
Ward 3’s Mark Hodge is the only one on the ballot.
Incumbent Valeria Wedley is also running unopposed for the Ward 5 school board seat.
Wards 2 and 4 school board positions are not on this ballot. Those seats will be up for grabs in 2023. Leon McNeal (Ward 2) and Wayne McLemore (Ward 4) will remain on the school board.
Early voting begins October 13 and runs through October 28. Election Day is November 2. Deadline to register to vote in the November election is October 4.