Atmore municipal elections will be held Tuesday. Seats in four city council districts, as well as the mayor’s seat, will be on the ballot. Pictured, from left, are mayoral candidates Lloyd Albritton, Bernard Bishop and Jim Staff.

Municipal elections slated for Tuesday

Published 6:20pm Saturday, August 25, 2012

Following months of campaigning, the races for mayor of Atmore and four of the five city council seats will be decided Tuesday when voters cast their ballots for city leaders.

Atmore residents will decide between three mayoral candidates to choose as the replacement for Mayor Howard Shell, who has held the office for 24 years. Jim Staff, Bernard Bishop and Lloyd Albritton make up the ballot for mayor.

In the mayoral race, Staff brings 12 years of experience as an Atmore city councilman. He is also a longtime businessman and served an additional 12 years on the Escambia County Board of Education.

Bishop, a local pastor and businessman, has said his primary focus as mayor would be uniting the city of Atmore and has campaigned under the banner of “if I can change, if you can change, we change this city together.”

Albritton, who has also spent time in Atmore as a businessman, has stressed change throughout his campaign, and has said he would focus on moving the city away from the “status quo.”

In the race for city council seats, a number of candidates will appear on Tuesday’s ballot. Candidates for city council in District 1 include: Incumbent Web Nall; challenger Chad Thrower. In District 2, candidates include: Incumbent Cornell Torrence; challenger Theodore McNeal. In District 3, incumbent Chris Walker ran unopposed, while candidates running to replace longtime councilman John Garrard in District 4 include: Phil Johnson; Susan Smith; Larry Houck. Candidates running to fill the seat left by mayoral candidate Jim Staff in District 5 include: Sandra Gray; Chris Harrison; Gregg Akins; Michael Arnold.

Atmore City Clerk Becca Smith said the election will begin Tuesday at 7 a.m. and will conclude at 7 p.m., with all votes likely to be tallied by 7:30 p.m.

Polling places for this year’s election are as follows: District 1 will vote at Atmore Public Library, located at 700 East Church Street; Voters in District 2 will cast their ballots at Atmore City Hall at 201 East Louisville Avenue; District 3 voters should report to the Atmore Friendship Club building, located on North Main Street, adjacent to Oak Hill Cemetery; Votes in District 4 will be cast at Escambia County High School, located at 1215 South Presley Street; District 5 voters should cast their ballots at the former Atmore Community Center (currently the Atmore branch of the Escambia County Board of Education), adjacent to the Atmore YMCA building at 501 South Pensacola Avenue.

In the event of a runoff, Smith said Tuesday, Oct. 9 has been designated as the date. In the unlikely event inclement weather caused by now-tropical storm Isaac, Smith said the election would have to be postponed, with the procedures coordinated through the U.S. Department of Justice.

“We are looking over the procedures we would have to go through if that happened,” Smith said. “In some other cities they are getting ready for the possibility too, but I hope we’ll be okay.”

Newly elected officials will officially take office Monday, Nov. 5.

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