Candidates list released, Payne bows out
By Michael Butler
The qualifying deadline for Tallassee's upcoming municipal election has elapsed. Notably, one name is missing.
Current mayor Bobby Payne announced his intentions to run for reelection two weeks ago but withdrew his name among the list of qualifiers last Tuesday.
"After much reflection, I have withdrawn my name," Payne noted in a press release, "and my time as a public servant will conclude this fall when my current term expires."
Payne would have been seeking his seventh term as mayor. His first term was in 1988. He served until 2008 then again in 2012. He first took office as a city councilman in 1976.
"As I move into a new phase of my life, I would like to thank each and every Tallassean for the support they have given me both as a candidate and as an elected official," Payne added. "We have, together, seen Tallassee transition from strictly a “mill town” to a community with multiple industries and businesses.
"I also express deep appreciation to every elected official with whom I have served as well as all of the dedicated employees of our city. It has been my pleasure to work with and for you. Finally, I must mention my wife and sons who have faithfully supported and encouraged me. Nothing would have been possible without them. God bless all of you and Tallassee."
Payne will conclude his political career with the longest service among elected officials in Tallassee's 108-year history as an incorporated city. During his time as mayor, Payne was defeated just once in the 2008 election against George McCain, but won the rematch in 2012 receiving 54% of 1,450 votes cast.
The race for Tallassee's head official now includes four candidates; John "Johnny" Hammock, Jeanna W. Kervin, George A. McCain and James "Trey" Taylor. Kervin and Taylor have had their residencies challenged by the city council. A declaratory judgment has been requested.
McCain served as mayor from 2008-12. Taylor currently serves as Elmore County District 2 Commissioner. This is the first bid at public office for Hammock and Kervin.
All seven city council incumbents are running for reelection. Three are unopposed; Darrell Wilson (Ward 4), William "Bill" Godwin, Jr. (Ward 6) and David Stough (Ward 7).
Jeremy Taunton will face incumbent Robert Rygiel in Ward 1. Ward 2 has three candidates; Sarah Hill, Heather Johnson (Incumbent) and Matthew Miller. In Ward 3, longtime councilman Charles "C.C." Blalock will be opposed for the first time since taking office in 1987. Damain Carr, a current school board representative, will be Blalock's competition. Charles Andrew "Andy" Bodenheimer has entered the Ward 5 race vs. current councilman Terrel "Coach" Brown.
There are three races with multiple candidates for Tallassee Board of Education. Current board members Danny Loren Ingram and Ruthanne McCaig have opponents. Kami Scarborough will be on the ballot with Ingram in Ward 1. Ronald "Ron" McDaniel has qualified vs. McCaig in Ward 4.
Board members Chris Price (Ward 2), Damian Carr (Ward 3) and Steve Burak (Ward 7) are not seeking reelection on the board. Newcomers will be filling those seats; Michael "Don" Bryant in Ward 2, Jennifer Jelks in Ward 3 and Lacey Brewer in Ward 7.
Ward 6 board member Sandra Patterson is unopposed and will serve another term. Incumbent Donald "Rex" Ledbetter, Jr. and Robbie Ellis are the candidates in Ward 5.
Absentee voting begins on July 26. The last day to register to vote in the municipal election is Aug. 10. The final day to apply for an absentee ballot is Aug. 18. Election day is Aug. 23 with poll hours from 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Polling sites will be the National Guard Armory, God's Congregational Holiness Church and the Community Library. If needed, a runoff election would be on Oct. 4.
*By the Numbers:
36 - Total Number of Years in Public Office by Bobby Payne
26 - Total Number of Candidates
19 - Total Number of Candidates with Opposition
7 - Total Number of Candidates Who Are Unopposed
3 - Total Number of Candidates Not Seeking Reelection (*All School Board Members)
TALLASSEE MUNICIPAL ELECTION CANDIDATES
OFFICE OF MAYOR
John “Johnny” Hammock
Jeanna W. Kervin...
George A. McCain
James “Trey” Taylor
CITY COUNCIL WARD 1
CITY COUNCIL WARD 2
CITY COUNCIL WARD 3
Charles “C.C.” Blalock
CITY COUNCIL WARD 4
CITY COUNCILWARD 5
Charles Andrew “Andy” Bodenheimer
Terrel “Coach” Brown
CITY COUNCIL WARD 6
William “Bill” Godwin, Jr.
CITY COUNCIL WARD 7
BOARD OF EDUCATION WARD 1
Danny Loren Ingram
BOARD OF EDUCATION WARD 2
Michael “Don” Bryant
BOARD OF EDUCATION WARD 3
BOARD OF EDUCATION WARD 4
Ronald “Ron” McDaniel
BOARD OF EDUCATION WARD 5
Donald Rex Ledbetter, Jr.
BOARD OF EDUCATION WARD 6
BOARD OF EDUCATION WARD 7