A pair of Booneville municipal races moved to runoffs Tuesday while incumbent Ward 2 Alderman Jeff Williams was returned to office and other races were set to continue to June’s general election.
Republican primaries in Ward 1 and Ward 4 will continue in the primary runoff election set for Tuesday, April 27.
In Ward 1 Tara Lauderdale and Lauren Ford Whitson will face each other in the runoff. Lauderdale received 237 votes and Whitson received 139 votes, but neither moved past the 50 percent mark to claim the win outright. With no independent or Democratic candidate in the race, the runoff winner will win the seat. Gary Walker had 94 votes in the primary and Josh Reese was fourth with 52 votes. Incumbent Jason Michael did not seek reelection.
The Republican primary for Ward 4 also moves to a runoff on April 27 as Alan Prentiss (155 votes) and Christopher Kitchens (105 votes) came out on top in the three man race with Michael Starkey (76 votes) finishing third. The winner of the runoff for the Republican nomination will face independent candidate Carolyn Miller in the general election on June 8. Incumbent William Scott did not seek reelection.
Ward 2 Alderman Jeff Williams, the lone incumbent alderman seeking reelection, was returned to the board in the Democratic primary. He defeated challenger Robbye Grove Wiggins with a vote of 163 to 96.
“I want to thank the people of Ward two for their vote and support,” said Williams.
He said he’s thankful for all those who believed in him and who have supported him and the board through the years as they work to improve the city. Williams was elected to his fourth consecutive term on the board.
Other races will move on to the June 8 general election after Republican nominees were chosen in Tuesday’s primary to face independent candidates.
Jimmy Clyde Hicks claimed the Republican nomination for Ward 3 alderman, defeating Bill Stevenson 140 to 103. He will face independent candidate Tai Grove in the general election. Incumbent Mark McCoy did not seek reelection.
LaVaile Shields won the Republican primary for Alderman at Large Tuesday. Shields, former Booneville City Clerk, defeated former alderman Harold Eaton 674 to 476 to claim the Republican nomination. Shields will face independent candidate and former mayor Derrick Blythe in the general election. Incumbent Alderman-at-Large Lisa Stevens did not seek reelection.
Booneville’s mayor’s race also moves to the general election in June. Republican incumbent Chris Lindley was unopposed Tuesday for his party’s nomination. He will face independent challenger CJ McCoy in June.
Tuesday’s primary marked the city’s first use of new voting machines and officials said the process went smoothly. Voters filled out paper ballots which were then fed into scanning machines for counting.
City Election Commissioner Matthew Cain said the system worked extremely well and he’s excited about the simplicity and the easy to verify paper trail it provides.
“We can’t say enough good about it. It’s about as bulletproof as it can be,” he said.
Tuesday’s primary saw a total of 1,409 votes cast, representing approximately 30 percent of the approximately 4,700 registered voters in the city. Four years ago 1,932 voters cast ballots in the primary, 39.5 percent of registered voters.