Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

August 31, 2013

Elections qualifying ends

VALDOSTA — Qualifying for candidacies in Lowndes County municipal races concluded Friday afternoon with one incumbent Valdosta City Council member not filing for re-election; a former Lake Park police chief seeking election to the City Council that discontinued his employment; and one town finally managing on the last day to attract enough candidates to fill the number of seats up for election.

For Valdosta City Council District 2, incumbent Council member Deidra White will not seek a second term.

In a statement released to The Times Friday night, White commended her fellow council members' commitment, principles and vision, but she said she needed to focus her attention on her businesses and family.

“I have enjoyed my tenure on the Council, would not trade the experience for anything, and I  feel that I leave the City, because of the teamwork and efforts of the elected officials and staff, in better condition than it was four years ago,” White said, “however, I have two other full-time jobs which I must now make my priority: my two downtown restaurants and the most important and valued job I'll ever have, being a Mom to my two children.”

Though White opted not to run, a third contender for District 2 filed Friday. Calvin Graham Sr. along with Sandra J.

Tooley and John Hogan will vie for the seat.

Former, long-time Lake Park Police Chief Bert P. Rutland filed Friday making him one of five candidates seeking election to four, at-large council spots. In early 2012, a newly sworn Lake Park mayor and City Council immediately terminated Rutland and a long-term city clerk’s positions. Their firings heralded six months of tumultuous events within the Lake Park City Council.

Until Thursday, no one had filed as candidates for Remerton’s three at-large seats. On Thursday, two candidates filed to qualify. On Friday, a third candidate, incumbent Council member Jessica Brantley, joined two other incumbents seeking re-election.

In Hahira, a fourth candidate, Johnny L. Stalvey, filed to run in the race for mayor.

Additional candidates also filed Friday for Valdosta City Council District 6 (Joseph Wheeler); Valdosta school board District 2 (James L. Nelson).

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