Thirteen candidates qualify for city offices
By By Sherry Digmon
Advance Staff Writer
Thirteen candidates have qualified to run in Atmore's mayor and city council races.
The mayor's race appeared to be a two-man race between incumbent Rodney Owens and former mayor Howard Shell until Seth Dettling qualified about an hour before the deadline Tuesday afternoon.
In 1996, Owens unseated Shell by 267 votes in a run off. This is Dettling's first run at a city political office.
All five city council seats are up for election.
In District 1, incumbent Jerry Gehman is challenged by Webb Nall, who served on the council for one term in the 1980s. Gehman is completing his first term on the council.
In District 2, incumbent John Watkins is challenged by Daniel Lyles, a newcomer to the political scene. Watkins was elected in 1992 and re-elected in 1996.
In District 3, Councilman Curtis Harris is giving up his seat after 12 years. Businessman Louie Turner is the only candidate in that race.
In District 4, incumbent John Garrard is challenged by Ricky Morgan. Garrard is completing his first term on the council. This is Morgan's first bid for political office.
In District 5, incumbent David McKinley is facing two challengers – Sheri McKinley and Jim Staff. Neither challenger has run for a council seat before.
This is the first time since 1984 that a woman has sought a seat on the city council.
Qualifying ended Tuesday at 5 p.m.
On-site absentee voting will be held Saturday, Aug. 12, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Atmore City Hall auditorium.
The general election will be held Aug. 22. A run-off, if necessary, will be held Sept. 12. Winners take office Oct. 2.