It appears a last-minute candidate for the District 4 seat on the Big Spring City Council will produce the only contested race of this year's local municipal election.
Bobby McDonald — local businessman and husband of incumbent District 4 Councilwoman Gloria McDonald — filed to run for the seat late Monday afternoon, according to officials with the city of Big Spring.
“It was the last few minutes of the ball game, and either I was going to file to run or no one was going to file,” McDonald said. “Gloria has been a great leader over the years and she's tried to persuade the leadership to look at different avenues, and that's exactly what I plan to do. We need growth in our city.
“Many of the members of our city council haven't involved themselves in trying to grow our city, and that's something we desperately need right now. They are simply trying to cut the tax rate. Yes, we need to lower the tax rate, that's an issue we certainly need to work toward. However, growth needs to be our first concern.”
McDonald will face local resident Loretta Farquhar for the seat in the May 12 election.
Farquhar said if elected she will concentrate on the city's infrastructure.
“I moved away from Big Spring for many years, and when I moved back, I was just so disappointed with the state the infrastructure was in,” Farquhar said. “I want to be on the city council responsible for repairing the infrastructure. Also, I believe any big ticket items need to go before the voters. I believe they need to have the final decision.”
Farquhar also pledged to be a one-term council member.
The District 2 seat, currently held by Manuel Ramirez Jr., who did not file to run for re-election, drew only a single candidate, as local resident Carmen Moreno Harbour will run unopposed in the election.
The District 6 seat, held by Councilman Terry Hansen, who also declined to file for re-election, drew a lone candidate. Marvin Boyd, owner of Boyd's Auto Glass, will go unopposed in the May contest.
In the city of Stanton, a rather eventful filing period will likely mean a rather quiet municipal election season, as as several seats up for grabs in the Martin County seat will go to unopposed candidates in May.
Mayoral incumbent Justin Burch will likely win his first full term in the office, as he goes unchallenged. Burch has served approximately a year as mayor of Stanton, stepping in for former mayor Tommy Haislip, who vacated the office to move to Houston in 2011.
The at-large seat on the council — vacated by Burch in 2011 when he assumed the position of mayor — will also be assumed by an unopposed candidate, as incumbent Danny Fryar — who has served in the capacity since assuming duties in 2011 — is the lone name on the ballot.
Similar stories hold true in Districts 2 and 3, as incumbents Michelle Kidd and James Jenkins go unopposed in seeking re-election in the May contest.
It's not all a done deal in Stanton, however.
The District 1 seat on the council, currently held by Ronnie Christian — who has decided not to seek re-election — drew a pair of candidates before filing closed. Stanton residents Jim Smith and Brian McHenry will battle it out in the Stanton City Council's lone contested race this May.
In Coahoma, it looked like the small city might not have to hold an election in May until a number of last minute filings Monday afternoon.
The seats up for election in the Coahoma races include those currently held by Linda Luce, Paulette Lindsey and Zach Johnson. Until late Monday afternoon, Lindsey was the only incumbent to file to run for re-election, joined by newcomers Billy Sullivan and Dan Shelburne to fill the three vacant seats on the council.
However, before the close of business Monday, both incumbents — Luce and Johnson — filed to have their names placed on the ballots, as did local construction contractor John Mulkey.
Now, instead of three candidates running unopposed, it appears the city will have six candidates vying for three seats on its city council, according to officials with Coahoma City Hall.
Early voting in this year's municipal elections is slated to begin April 30 and end May 8, according to local election officials.