Candidates qualify for municipal elections in Henry County

The contenders are set for municipal elections in Henry County’s four cities.

The qualifying phase of the 2011 election cycle ended Friday, in McDonough, Stockbridge, Hampton and Locust Grove. It began Monday.

Locust Grove is the only Henry city in which a mayoral election will be held in November. There is a vacancy since outgoing Mayor Lorene Lindsey decided not to seek another term. The only candidate to qualify to run is Robert Price. He resigned as a councilman earlier this year, in order to run for mayor, Locust Grove City Clerk Theresa Breedlove confirmed.

Also in Locust Grove, city council incumbents, who qualified for four-year terms, are: Otis Hammock, Frances Ward, Vernon Ashe and Justin Flynn. Sammy Brown and Rick Begin each qualified to run for a two-year council term in the city.

The largest field of city council candidates is in Stockbridge, according to City Clerk Vanessa Holiday. In addition to incumbents — Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Gilbert, Shirley Dabney and Fred Evans — Holiday said other candidates for the Stockbridge City Council are: Charles Reid, Robin Buschman, Alphonso Thomas, Richard Steinberg, Houston Nelson, Rashida Cloud and Beverly Edwards.

McDonough seats up for re-election are those held by At-Large Councilwoman Gail Notti, District 3 Councilman Wayne Smith, and District 4 Councilman Monta Brown, and all three qualified to run again. Smith will be challenged by Swaine Thompson. Brown will face two challengers, Alphonso Williams and Kamali Varner. No one qualified to run against Notti, said McDonough City Clerk Janis Price.

In Hampton, councilmen Steve Hutchison, Arley Lowe and Henry Byrd, will seek re-election. They will be joined on the ballot by Harold “Willie” Walls and H.E. “Bud” Smith, said Hampton Deputy City Clerk Pat Watson.

All Henry County residents are being asked to vote on renewing the Henry County Board of Education’s 1-cent sales tax for education. The tax is known as the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or SPLOST for Schools.

Janet Shellnutt, Henry County’s Director of Elections and Registration, said, in July, that city ballots also will include questions for citizens to determine whether to permit Sunday packaged alcohol sales within their respective borders.