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Qualifying for Thomson city council, mayor seats underway

There were no real surprises through the first two days of qualifying for open slots on the Thomson City Council this week.

Former longtime Councilman Kenneth Usry was the only one who had paid his qualifying fee to seek the office of mayor as of press time Tuesday.

Mr. Usry is seeking the mayoral post presently held by Mayor Robert E. Knox Jr. Mr. Knox is leaving public office after a long distinguished career.

Mr. Usry, who qualified on Monday, is vacating his seat on council after 29 years in order to run for mayor.

Three incumbent council members also qualified Monday, according to City Administrative Assistant Rhonda Brown. They included: Rev. John Smalley, Alton Belton and Jaye Jones.

Rev. Smalley and Mr. Belton have served on city council for a number of years, while Mr. Jones is a political newcomer. He recently was appointed to fill the unexpired term of former councilman Mike Carrington, who resigned his elected post to become director of the Thomson-McDuffie County Economic Development Authority.

Another newcomer, meanwhile, retired pharmacist Clifford "Bud" Lunceford, also qualified on Monday for a council seat. He is seeking the seat being left vacant by Mr. Usry.

Qualifying for city elected positions officially ends on Friday at 4:30 p.m. The election is scheduled for November.

Web posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007

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