By James Beaty
A filing period for candidates seeking election to three seats on the McAlester city council begins Monday.
McAlester City Council seats in Wards 2, 4 and 6 will be open for candidate filing. The filing period is set to extend from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Pittsburg County Election Board Office at 109 E. Carl Albert Parkway.
The election to fill the posts is set for March 4.
Currently, John Titsworth is the Ward 2 incumbent; Robert Karr’s the Ward 4 incumbent and the council recently appointed Jason Barnett to fill the Ward 6 seat until the March election.
At least two of the three council seats up for election will feature different faces than they did this time last year.
Karr announced near the end of the Jan. 14 special city council meeting that he did not intend to seek re-election, leaving that position wide open for candidates interested in the Ward 4 post.
Karr said he made the announcement Jan. 14 so other potential candidates would have a chance before the filing period began to decide whether they wanted to seek the office.
“I feel like I’ve done my four-year term,” Karr said following the meeting. “I want to do other things now, let somebody else bring their input.”
The Ward 6 city council seat had been left empty on Dec. 3, 2013, after then-Ward 6 City Councilor/Vice Mayor Sam Mason resigned from the post. He subsequently cited concerns regarding city bidding procedure and contracts for work on city streets as reasons for resigning prior to the end of the term.
On Jan. 7, city councilors appointed Barnett to fill the term until the March election, giving him a couple of months to fill the office prior to the March election.
City councilors appointed Barnett after selecting him from a field of six applicants —four of whom showed up in person to seek the appointment.
All four — Barnett, former Ward 6 Councilor Louis Smitherman, Marsha Coyle and Cletis Lowe Jr. —said during the Jan. 7 meeting that they intended to run for the office in March.
Since the city election is non-partisan, candidates do not have to file as members of a political party.
Contact James Beaty at firstname.lastname@example.org.