By Bill Short
With 22 candidates seeking 12 positions on the ballot, the Nov. 8 Millington city elections will feature only two uncontested races.
Two candidates are competing for mayor and 13 for the seven alderman positions, while seven others are seeking four-year terms in four school board positions up for re-election.
Mayor Terry Jones is being challenged by Vice Mayor Chris Ford, who is not seeking re-election as Position 6 alderman.
Missy Boyd Ervin is seeking the Position 1 seat occupied by Alderman Bethany K. Huffman, while Albert (Al) Bell is competing with Position 2 Alderman Hank Hawkins.
Roger Taney Henderson is seeking the Position 3 seat occupied by Alderman Frankie Dakin, while Sherrie Hopper is competing with Position 4 Alderman Larry Dagen.
Position 5 Alderman Thomas McGhee is being challenged by Donald Holsinger, who is not seeking re-election to the school board.
The candidates for Position 6 are Jon Crisp and former alderman Don Lowry, while Position 7 Alderman Mike Caruthers is unopposed.
School Board Vice Chairman Gregory L. Ritter is being challenged by Roger Christopher for Position 1.
Mark Coulter and Rosie Crawford are competing for the Position 3 seat occupied by Chuck Hurt Jr., who is not seeking re-election.
Position 5 board member Louise Kennon is being challenged by Ronnie Mackin, and Chris Denson is unopposed for the Position 7 seat currently occupied by Holsinger.
In November 2013, the successful candidates for school board positions 2, 4 and 6 were initially elected to one-year terms, while those for positions 1, 3, 5 and 7 won three-year terms. Board members occupying the even-numbered positions were elected to four-year terms in November 2014.
Earlier this year, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the Tennessee General Assembly approved amendments to the Millington City Charter that changed the date of the city elections and established staggered terms for the aldermen.
The elections had been conducted on the first Thursday in August every four years. But they will now be scheduled every two years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November to coincide with the federal and state general elections.
City Attorney Gerald Lawson has said this will save money by eliminating a runoff election. So, in races with more than two candidates, the one who receives a plurality of votes will be declared the winner.
Beginning this year, alderman positions 1-4 will be up for re-election to a two-year term and positions 5-7 for a four-year term. The first four positions will be up for re-election to a four-year term in 2018 and the remaining three in 2020.
The mayor’s position will continue to be up for re-election every four years.
By Bill Short