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Paris City Council now has two races -- Benny Plata vs. John Wright in District 3 and Edwin Pickle vs. Cleonne Drake in District 6

Shown is a map of the seven Paris City Council districts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Shown is a map of the seven Paris City Council districts.
(TYPE CTRL “+” TO ENLARGE)
Benny Plata ... files against John Wright for District 3 council seat
Benny Plata … files against John Wright for District 3 council seat
Edwin Pickle ... files against Cleonne Drake for District 6 council seat
Edwin Pickle … files against Cleonne Drake for District 6 council seat

Former Paris city councilman Benny Plata, a Paris city councilman from 2000 to 2004, has filed for the District 3 seat on the Paris City Council, creating the second contested race for the upcoming May 10, 2014, city election.

Edwin Pickle, also a two-term veteran, filed for office early in the day Tuesday for District 6, and Plata threw his hat into the ring late in the afternoon, City Clerk Janice Ellis said.

Plata will be pitted against John Wright in District 3, and Pickle will vie with Cleonne Holmes Drake in District 6.

Districts 1, 2, 3 and 6 are up for grabs this year. The incumbents in those four seats declared their re-election intentions shortly after the filing window opened on Jan. 29.

Candidates must be at least 18, a U.S. citizen, a resident of the district for the 12 months immediately preceding the filing deadline, and shall not have been convicted of a felony or been adjudged to be mentally incompetent by a court.

Potential candidates have until 5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 28, to file for the council.

They are:

  • District 1: Aaron Jenkins, 44, of 1715 Fairfax St., who is completing his first 2-year term. .
  • District 2: Sue Lancaster, 74, of 1020 Bonham St., who is completing her first 2-year term.
  • District 3: John Wright, 83, of 3605 W. Houston St., who is completing his second 2-year term.
  • District 6: Cleonne Holmes Drake, 58, of 2501 Simpson St., who is completing her first 2-year term.

Plata, who lives at 850 19th St. SW, will be 57 on Thursday. He has worked at Kimberly-Clark for more than 30 years.

Pickle, 57, of 220 Johnson Woods Drive, is owner of Kwik Kopy Printing. Pickle served on the council from 2008 to 2012 before losing to Drake.

Also on the council, but not up for election this year, are:

  • District 4: Dr. Richard Grossnickle, 64, of 1845 34th St., in the middle of his second 2-year term.
  • District 5: Matt Frierson, 39, of 523 Church St., in the middle of his second 2-year term.
  • District 7: Dr. AJ Hashmi, 57, of 4510 FM 195, in the middle of his second 2-year term

After election results are canvassed and certified, the new council will elect from its members a mayor and mayor pro-tem for the following year. Hashmi is in his third year as mayor.

Persons are limited to three consecutive 2-year terms, after which they must wait two years before they can be on the council again.

Anyone interested in filing for the council should pick up an information packet from the city clerk’s office in the City Hall Annex at 150 1st St. SE.

Council packets include:

  • An election calendar of dates and deadlines,
  • A copy of the City of Paris Charter qualifications,
  • Eligibility requirements for public office in Texas,
  • Application for a place on the ballot,
  • Campaign finance guide,
  • Campaign treasurer appointment form,
  • Campaign finance report forms,
  • Code of Fair Campaign form,
  • Political advertising pamphlet, and
  • The city of Paris’ zoning regulations for political signs.

By Charles Richards, eParisExtra

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