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Throughout the area, people interested in serving ther communities on the school board or city council can now officially declare their intentions.
Prospective candiidates have 30 days to throw their proverbial hats into the ring.
There is no election this year for the Paris Junior College board of regents, which has six-year terms and has elections only in even years.
In Paris, Dr. AJ Hashmi wasted little time in making his intentions known. The mayor walked into the City Hall Annex shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday and filled out the paperwork in his bid for re-election to the council.
The council seats for districts 4, 5 and 7 are up for grabs in the May 11 election.
Hashmi, who lives at 4510 FM 195, represents District 7; Grossnickle, who lives at 1815 34th St. NE, represents District 4.
Matt Frierson, who lives at 523 Church St., is also serving out his first term on the council. He represents District 5.
Holdover council members are Aaron Jenkins in District 1, Sue Lancaster in District 2, John Wright in District 3 and Cleonne Drake in District 6.
Candidates have 30 days – until 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1 — to file for a place on the ballot – whether for city council, the Paris Junior College board of regents, or any of Lamar County’s five public school boards.
To run for city council, a person must be at least 18, a U.S. citizen, must not be mentally capacitated or a felon, and as of the filing deadline must have lived continuously for the past 12 months in the district he or she wishes to serve.
The eligibility requirements are the same for school board, except that the candidate must also be a registered voter and need have lived in the district he or she wishes to represent for 6 months.
Early voting in all cases is Monday through Friday beginning April 29 and continuing through May 3.
Here is the election situation around Lamar County:
PARIS CITY COUNCIL – Two-year terms of District 4 councilman Richard Grossnickle, District 5 councilman Matt Frierson and District 7 councilman AJ Hashmi expire in May. Grossnickle and Hashmi have declared for re-election. Holdover members are Aaron Jenkins in District 1, Sue Lancaster in District 2, John Wright in District 3 and Cleonne Drake in District 6.
CHISUM HIGH SCHOOL – Three-year terms of Travis Ball and Jimmy Caffee expire in May. Holdover members of the Chisum School Board are Lisa Butler, Dashielle Floyd and Paul Hutto, whose terms expire in 2014; and Lori Collins and Larry Rickman and Lori Collins, whose terms expire in 2015.
NORTH LAMAR HIGH SCHOOL – Three-year terms of Bill Coleman, Paul Drake and Gary Hilliard expire in May. The three people who receive the most votes on May 11 will be seated. Holdover school trustees are Brad Perry and Dr. Robert White, whose terms expire in 2014; and Amy Stephens and Dave Osborne, whose terms expire in 2015.
PARIS HIGH SCHOOL – Three-year terms of Dale Henry (Place 3) and Gordon B. Strom (Place 7) expire in May. School trustees must live in the district they desire to serve. Interested persons should check their voter’s registration card to verify they live in the district, which is approximately, but not absolutely, the same as Paris City Council districts. Holdover school trustees are Regina Williams (2), Rickey Richardson (4) and Becki Norment, whose terms expire in 2014; and George Fisher (1) and Jenny Wilson (6), whose terms expire in 2015.
PRAIRILAND HIGH SCHOOL – Three-year terms of Dustin Nation in Place 1 and Tracey Jones in Place 4 expire in May. Also, the one year remaining in the Place 6 berth that expires in 2014 must be filled. Michael Sessions resigned last year, and Johnny Patterson was appointed to serve Place 6 until May’s election. Holdover school board members are John Dunagin (Place 2) and David Basinger (Place 3), whose terms expire in 2014; and Jerrod Bankhead (Place 5) and James Freelen (Place 7), whose terms expire in 2015. The person with the most votes in each of the Place 1, 4 and 6 elections will be sworn in.
ROXTON HIGH SCHOOL – Three-year terms of Kelly Whitaker and Shannon McGuire expire in May. Holdover school board members are Jerimy Bell, Brad Dillard, and J.D. Duke, whose terms expire in 2014; and Rhonda Parham and Joan Stribbling, whose terms expire in 2015. All seven trustees run at large, meaning that the two candidates who get the most votes in the May 11 election will win. Early voting is 8 a.m. to noon during the early voting period at the Roxton City Hall. Voting on election day will also be at City Hall.
By CHARLES RICHARDS