ABERDEEN – Feb. 7 marked the end of qualifying for Aberdeen’s Democratic primaries being held April 7 and general election on May 5, when the mayor, police chief and board of aldermen for the next four years will be decided.
For the six-candidate mayor’s race, Democrat contenders Toni Reece, Dr. Roderick Van Daniel and Alonzo Sykes Sr. will face off April 7. The winner advances to face incumbent Mayor Maurice Howard, Mike Bunch and Cecil Belle, who are all running on the Independent ticket, for the May 5 general election.
Howard, Bunch and Belle will not face off against each other in the primaries since they are running Independent.
For chief of police, incumbent Henry Randle will face Quinell Shumpert in the primaries, and both candidates are running as Democrats.
For the Ward 1 alderman seat, Robert Devaull, Rose Hodges, Nicholas Holliday and Terry Smith are seeking office.
In Ward 2, incumbent alderman Doug Stone will face Lady B. Garth and Antonio C. Rogers in the Democratic primary.
The Ward 3 alderman race will be between incumbent David Ewing, Sammie Burroughs and Edward Haynes. All four men are running as Democrats.
Incumbent Ward 4 Alderwoman Carolyn Odom is facing Dean Irvin in the Democratic primaries. The winner between the two will face Harold Holliday Jr., who is running as an Independent.
For Ward 5, Democrat John Allen is running unopposed.
The Aberdeen Democratic Executive Committee met Monday afternoon to certify candidates, and three of the people who qualified to run for office were not certified due to a change in state law that went into effect Jan. 1.
Senate Bill 2030 passed last July stating anyone running for city, county or county district seats shall be a resident of that city, county or county district for two years preceding Election Day.
Charles Scott, who qualified to run for mayor; Justin Crosby, who qualified for the Ward 3 alderman seat; and Tony Tillman, who qualified for chief of police, will have the opportunity to appeal the Democratic executive committee’s decision at a Feb. 18 hearing.
If any runoffs are required for the Democratic primaries, the date is April 21.
Anyone who wants to participate in the primaries or general election and isn’t already registered to vote must do so 30 days before them.
The elected officials will be sworn in May 5 to begin the new term.