Another Lovejoy council seat open

By Justin Boron

Another special election is on the way in Lovejoy after City Council member Peggy Johnson stepped down.

Johnson read a resignation statement at her last business meeting, creating an open seat on the council for the second time in six months.

In late July, a seat opened after the death of Council member Barbara Spruill, which eventually gave way to a month of controversy surrounding the eligibility of one of the vacant seat's candidates, Ellis Conkle.

After being disqualified by a judge, Conkle ran a write-in candidacy that, he said, was an attempt to draw votes from another candidate Angela Cannon.

Cannon filed the protest of his qualification.

Wendy Andzeski, the third candidate, prevailed in a Sept. 21 special election.

Johnson's resignation comes after 10 years of service and as the city places the final touches on its pursuit of certification.

"I've seen (the city) grow," she said. "All I asked is the city keeps growing."

Mayor Joe Murphy said he didn't anticipate the special election would impact city business.

"I don't foresee any setbacks as far as the city goes," he said.

He said Conkle's intentions would likely determine whether the upcoming election would see the type of friction that overshadowed the city in the September special election.

If Conkle runs again, Murphy said, it would likely raise some eyebrows in the community.

Retired Probate Judge Eugene Lawson ruled Conkle did not meet the residential requirements to run in the last special election.

But that may not stop Conkle, who said he hasn't ruled out the possibility of running.

"I don't know whether I'm going to run or not," he said.

Murphy also said he had heard Cannon was interested in running again.

She could not be reached at home for comment as of press time.

The qualification days for the open seat are February 14, 15, 16. The application fee is $180.

The special election is scheduled for March 15, Murphy said.