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City council seat vacated

Smith challenging Mayor Copeland

Wayne Smith

Wayne Smith

photo

Billy

Copeland

McDONOUGH — Wayne Smith is running for mayor of McDonough.

However, in order to make a run for mayor it was necessary for him to vacate his seat on the City Council.

Mayor Billy Copeland convened the city’s legislative body Monday evening, officially declaring Smith’s seat on the council vacant and authorizing a special election to fill the vacancy on the Nov. 5 ballot.

The remaining City Council voted unanimously, 6-0, in favor of the special election to coincide with the mayoral election.

Smith was not present for the meeting. City Attorney Leigh Hancher explained, “When he qualified, the seat became vacant today.”

Candidate qualifying for the special election will be held Sept. 3 through 5.

The qualifying fee for the city council post is $360.

The last day for a resident to register to vote in the special election is Oct. 7.

Statute requires that early voting be held 21 days before the date of the special election and end the Friday before the election. Advance voting will be held from Oct. 14 to Nov. 1.

If a runoff election is needed for the vacated council seat, the runoff will be held Dec. 3.

Copeland has also qualified in his bid for re-election and will be on the ballot in the mayoral race as the incumbent.

After learning that Smith would be challenging for his seat, Copeland said Monday, “This is the American way. We encourage people to run for all offices in the city.” He added, “I wish Councilman Smith well in the election.”

Qualifying in the race for mayor and three other city council seats continues through Aug. 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day.

The qualifying office is located at City Hall in the city clerk’s office. The office will be closed for lunch each day during qualifying week from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

The qualifying fee is 3 percent of the total gross salary, bringing the fee for the mayor’s office to $540.

Fees must be paid at the time of qualifying.

Councilman Rufus Stewart has already filed his bid for re-election to the council.