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Joe McCarthy, Kelly John Collins file for seats on Paris City Council

Two more people filed just before the deadline Friday for seats on the Paris City Council, assuring a full slate of candidates for the four council seats that will be filled in the May 10, 2014 city election.

Filing on Friday were former city councilman Joe McCarthy in District 1, and Kelly John Collins in District 2.

Previously, former city councilman Benny Plata filed for the District 3 seat, and former city councilman Edwin Pickle filed for the District 6 council seat.

Incumbents are seeking re-election in all four city council districts.

Here’s the lineup for the May election:

Joe McCarthy ... filed for District 1 council seat
Joe McCarthy
… filed for District 1 council seat
Aaron Jenkins ... seeking re-election to District 1 council seat
Aaron Jenkins
… seeking re-election to District 1 council seat

District 1:

  • Incumbent — Aaron Jenkins, 44, of 1715 Fairfax St., completing his first 2-year term.
  • Challenger — Joe McCarthy, 70, of 1260 17th St. NE, who represented District 1 from 2000 to 2004 and from 2008 to 2012.
Kelly John Collins ... filed for District 2 council seat
Kelly John Collins
… filed for District 2 council seat
Sue Lancaster ... seeking re-election to District 2 council seat
Sue Lancaster
… seeking re-election to District 2 council seat

District 2:

Incumbent — Sue Lancaster, 74, of 1020 Bonham St., completing her first 2-year term.

Challenger — Kelly John Collins, 53, of 1720 W. Houston St. He is an agent for American National Insurance Company and pastor of Graham Street Baptist Church.

Benny Plata ... filed for District 3 council seat
Benny Plata
… filed for District 3 council seat
John Wright ... seeking re-election to District 3 council seat
John Wright
… seeking re-election to District 3 council seat

District 3:

  • Incumbent — John Wright, 83, of 3605 W. Houston St., completing his second 2-year term.
  • Challenger — Benny Plata, 57, of 850 19th St. SW, who represented District 3 from 2000 to 2004. He is an employee of Kimberly-Clark.
Edwin Pickle ... filed for District 6 council seat
Edwin Pickle
… filed for District 6 council seat
Cleonne Holmes Drake ... seeking re-election to District 6 council seat
Cleonne Holmes Drake
… seeking re-election to District 6 council seat

District 6:

  • Incumbent — Cleonne Holmes Drake, 58, of 2501 Simpson St., completing his first 2-year term.
  • Challenger — Edwin Pickle, 57, 220 Johnson Woods Drive, who served on the council from 2008 to 2012. He is the owner of Kwik Kopy Printing.

All four incumbents declared for re-election shortly after the filing window opened on Jan. 29.

Pickle and Plata threw their hats into the ring about halfway through the four-week filing window, and McCarthy and Collins filed on the afternoon of Friday’s deadline.

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.

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

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

The outcome of the four races could affect who will be chosen mayor in June.

Hashmi is in his third year as mayor and has particularly and consistently received the support of Jenkins, Lancaster and Wright the last two years, in contrast to occasional opposition from Grossnickle and Frierson, especially on issues relating to the Paris Economic Development Corporation in general, especially concerning the realm of retail marketing and promotion.

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

Until 2010’s Charter election, term limits were a maximum of two consecutive two-year terms followed by at least two years off.

By Charles Richards, eParisExtra

Following are special dates that apply to the May 10, 2014 city election:

First Day to Apply for Ballot by MailTuesday, March 11, 2014 
Last Day to Register to VoteThursday, April 10, 2014
First Day of Early VotingMonday, April 28, 2014
Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail
(Received, not Postmarked)
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Last Day of Early VotingTuesday, May 6, 2014

Last day to Receive Ballot by Mail

Saturday, May 10, 2014 (election day) at 7:00 p.m. (unless overseas deadline applies)
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