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Usry set to be next mayor of Thomson

It appears that the next mayor of the City of Thomson will be Kenneth Usry.

The longtime city councilman, who has never sought the office before this year, is unopposed in his bid to become the new mayor.

Mr. Usry, a local bank official, was thrilled last Friday after learning from Thomson-McDuffie County Elections Director Phyllis Wheeler that no one else had qualified to run against him as mayor.

"I'm really happy about not being opposed, because I really want to be the mayor of Thomson," Mr. Usry told The McDuffie Mirror just moments after the deadline for qualifying ended. "I have wanted to be the mayor of this city for a long time, and now it looks like I'm going to get that opportunity."

Mr. Usry will replace current Mayor Robert E. Knox, Jr., who has led city government for the past 29 years.

Meanwhile, the names of two political newcomers surfaced Friday for the seat of Councilman John T. Wiley, who announced recently that he would not be seeking re-election.

Bernice Brown, who serves as director of the McDuffie County Head Start Program and Jose G. Granados, who owns and operates Amigos, a Mexican restaurant in Thomson, will be vying against each other for Mr. Wiley's C-3 council seat. It will be the only contested race in the upcoming November city election.

Another political newcomer, Clifford "Bud" Lunceford, a retired Thomson pharmacist, apparently will win the C1-A seat presently held by Mr. Usry. Mr. Lunceford is unopposed as are incumbent Councilmen Alton Belton and the Rev. John Smalley.

Mr. Belton, an employee of Georgia Power Company in Thomson, represents the C-2 A council seat, while Rev. Smalley represents the C-2 B council post.

James "Jaye" Jones, meanwhile, a Thomson lawyer, will represent the C-1 B council seat. He also will be running unopposed.

Web posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007

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