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May 6 election taking shape in county's three largest cities

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Last week the filing period for candidates in the upcoming May 6 city and school elections began.

Several candidates have already returned packets officially declaring their candidacy in Liberty County's three largest municipalities.

The race shaping up to be the most interesting is for the next Mayor of Dayton, with incumbent Mayor Caroline Wadzeck not expected to seek another term.

So far, a pair of candidates have filed for that office, with Mike George filing late last week and Martin Mudd, who expected to file at press time Wednesday.

It should be noted that voters in Dayton made some changes to term limits last Spring, and the next Mayor would be elected to fill a three-year term, a shift from the current two-year term system.

There will also be a pair of positions on the ballot for the Dayton City Council, with Position 4 and Position 5 appearing. Incumbent Councilmen Andy Conner and Alvin Burres have picked up packets, but neither has filed as of this writing.

One candidate has filed for Position 4 with Dayton Community Development Corporation Board President Tonya Smikal gearing up to run. Smikal lost a close race for Position 1 last May against Councilman Dwight Pruitt.

It is worth noting that the two council members will remain under the two-year term limit until the office is again on the ballot in 2025 when they will shift to three-year terms.

In the City of Liberty, three at-large positions will be available, with incumbents Libby Simonson, Dennis Beasley, and Diane Driggers all facing re-election. As of Wednesday morning, none of the incumbents had filed for another term; however, John Hebert Jr. has filed for a place on the ballot.

In the City of Cleveland, the office of Mayor Richard Boyett and Council Positions 1 and 3 will appear on the ballot. Carolyn McWaters and Marilyn Clay currently hold those offices. According to the city, two candidates have picked up packets, but no one has filed.

The deadline to file for a place on the ballot is Friday, Feb. 17, at 5 pm.

Check out next week’s edition of The Vindicator for an updated list of candidates from around the county, and subscribe for all complete election coverage by visiting or calling 936-336-3611.