by Danny Wade
The final piece of the Humboldt political puzzle is now in place. The city’s Ward 2 alderman position has been determined.
Incumbent Leon McNeal won the runoff election against challenger Lenford Carr in last Tuesday’s election. McNeal doubled the number of votes Carr garnered at 65-32.
McNeal received 42 votes last Tuesday while Carr received 24. In early voting, McNeal got 18 votes to Carr’s eight. McNeal also received five absentee votes. There was one write in vote, which did not count since no candidate qualified as a write-in candidate. Plus, Carr and McNeal were the only qualifiers of the runoff race.
During the November 2 city election, neither Carr nor McNeal received enough votes to win the election outright. Carr received 76 votes while McNeal received 74. A third candidate, Yahweh Yahweh Yahweh, received 13 votes, which caused Carr not to have the 50-percent plus one vote needed to win.
With the win, McNeal will serve a fourth 4-year term as alderman. In 2009, McNeal won by a small margin of four votes as challenger to incumbent William Moody by a vote of 65 to 61. In 2013, Carr challenged McNeal for the Ward 2 alderman seat. In that race, McNeal took the election 256 to 136. In 2017, McNeal ran unopposed.
McNeal also serves on the Humboldt School Board.
The Humboldt Board of Mayor and Aldermen will look like this come January 2022. Mayor Marvin Sikes will once again lead the city after winning the election in November against challengers Thomas Emery, Terry Johnson, Yahweh Yahweh and Christine Warrington.
Only two aldermen are returning to the board, McNeal and Monte Johnson. Johnson was appointed to fill the vacant seat that had been held by his late wife, Donna Johnson. She passed away while serving on the city board. Monte Johnson ran unopposed in November.
Newcomers to the board are Julie Jones-Coleman, Shane Lynch and Tammie Porter. Porter out-balloted over Sarah Shivers, while Lynch and Jones-Coleman were basically unopposed due to unforeseen circumstances. Lynch had been facing Brittney Keller for the alderman seat but Keller dropped out of the race after accepting a teaching position with Humboldt City Schools, which made her a city employee. Jones-Coleman was challenging incumbent Don Graves. Graves passed away prior to the election, leaving only Jones-Coleman on the ballot.
The mayor and all five aldermen will be sworn into office on New Year’s Day during a ceremony to be held at the Humboldt Senior Citizens Center.