City races heating up

The race for the District 5 seat on the Big Spring City Council is finally heating up, as two local residents have thrown their hats into the political arena.Clint Collins, 44, pastor at Life Church, has filed his candidacy for the District 5 seat with the Big Spring City Secretary's office. Also filing for the seat is 48-year-old Raul Benavides, a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments.According to Collins, several local residents approached him and encouraged him to file to run for the District 5 seat.“We're at a point where we really need progressive leadership for Big Spring,” Collins said. “The city's infrastructure is my biggest concern going into 2013 and beyond. There is a huge potential for growth in the city with the current oil boom and we need to do what we can to prepare for it. We also need to pay close attention to housing and zoning for similar reasons.”Benavides said he feels his experience makes him the best person for the council seat.“I feel like I can use my experience with Edward Jones and the various boards I've sat on to help Big Spring move forward,” Benavides said. “I've served with the Midland County Housing Authority, Downtown Midland Lions Club and I currently sit on the finance council of Holy Trinity Catholic Church.”Benavides said anticipated growth in the Crossroads area due to the recent and expected booms in the oilfield are the most important challenges facing Big Spring in the next few years.“I feel like we have to prepare for the anticipated growth,” Benavides said. “That's going to mean looking closely at infrastructure and housing in the area. Zoning is also going to be a major concern because once the boom is over, we want to make sure our city is more beautiful than when it began.”The District 5 seat is currently held by one-term councilman Craig Olson, who has indicated he will not seek a second term.The race for the mayoral seat is a contested one. Local resident Roger Rodman, 65, has filed his candidacy for the position. Rodman is a medical technologist, according to information provided to the city of Big Spring.Rodman will face local business owner Larry McLellan in the May 11 election. McLellan is a former president of the Big Spring Economic Development board of directors and owner of Leonards Pharmacy.The mayoral seat is currently held by Tommy Duncan, who announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election after his only term in office.Prospective candidates can pick up filing packets from city hall — located at 310 Nolan St. — through Friday at 5 p.m., when the filing period comes to a close.Filing for the election is being handled by the city of Big Spring administration, while the election itself will once again be coordinated by the Howard County Elections Administration Office. For more information on filing to run in the May election, contact Big Spring City Hall at 432-264-2513.The city of Coahoma is currently poised to re-elect its three council members by default, as incumbents Warren Wallace, Ronnie Dodson and Jay Holt are the lone filers in the city.Wallace currently serves as the mayor of Coahoma, while both Dodson and Holt serve in at-large seats on the city council. For more information on filing, contact Coahoma City Hall at 432-394-4287.In the city of Stanton — the Martin County seat — two positions will be available in the upcoming election, as District 4 Councilman Steven Villa and Councilman At-Large Danny Fryar could have their seats challenged.According to Stanton officials, however, the two incumbents are the only two to file for the seats. If no challengers file candidacy in the race by the Friday deadline, Villa and Fryar will likely win their respective races by default.For more information, contact the Stanton Elections Administration Office at 432-607-2540 or Stanton City Hall at 432-756-3301.The municipal race in Forsan has drawn a pair of challengers, as the at-large seats held by Raymond Holguin, Fred Holguin and Mary Gressett are on the ballot. According to Forsan officials, all three incumbents have filed, while challengers Rick Ebert and Tracy Carey will look to unseat two of them.For more information on filing in the Forsan contest, contact Forsan Mayor Roger Hudgins at 432-457-2274.The deadline to file for candidacy in any of these races is 5 p.m. Friday. Early voting is slated to begin April 29.