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Candidates file in local elections

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Liberty County’s three largest communities will be heading to the polls Saturday, May 7, and there will be at least one new member on each of Cleveland, Dayton, and Liberty’s city councils.

The deadline for candidates to place their names on the ballot in those races ended Friday.

In the City of Cleveland, there will be three races decided on the city council, with two incumbents filing for another term and one stepping down. In the race for Position 3, incumbent Mayor Pro-tem James Franklin will face former Liberty County Commissioner Pct. 3 Eddie Lowery. In the race for Position 4, it is incumbent Delores Terry drawing two opponents in Rachell Hall and Desirée David. The race for Position 5 will see a newly elected council member with incumbent Danny Lee not running for re-election. Erika Montesnieto, Mike Doyle, and Fred Terrell are Vying for that seat.

In the City of Dayton, there will be three races on the ballot, with only two being contested and several amendments being decided to the city charter. The race for Position 1 will be between former City Councilman Dwight Pruitt and Tonya Smikal, who currently serves as President of the Dayton Community Development Corporation. In the contest for Position 2, incumbent Sherial Lawson will have an opponent for the first time; she has drawn a pair of opponents in Janette Goulder-Frick and former Councilman Josh Townsend, who joined the race just before the deadline Friday. Councilman John Headrick will face no opposition in the race for Position 3.

The most significant proposed change to the charter on the ballot in Dayton would see a shift from the current two year term limit format to a three-year term that would stack the races in pairs every year. If adopted, it would eliminate the current position format used by the city and would be phased in over several years.

Voters in Liberty will have at least one new council member after the upcoming election, with Councilman Neal Thornton not seeking another at large term. Incumbents David Arnold and Chipper Smith have tossed their hats in for another term and are joined by Ed Seymour and Tommy Brents in that race for three seats.

Carl Pickett is the only candidate for Mayor and will have another term in that seat.