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Gum Branch calls off election
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The number of Liberty County cities holding municipal elections dropped from five to four Monday, when Gum Branch officials announced the city would not hold elections in November.
According to a letter written by City Clerk Sandra Simpson and addressed to Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel’s office, candidates for mayor and city council are all unopposed, thus making the need for an election void.
“This is to notify your office that all candidates qualifying for the four city council seats and the mayor’s seat are unopposed,” she wrote in a letter dated Sept. 7, “and an election will not be necessary.”
While city councilmembers Edward Wells, Irene Chandler and Kathy Todd will stay on board for new four-year terms beginning in January, Gum Branch will be getting a new mayor and one new councilmember.
Richard Strickland is set to replace current Mayor Eddie Simpson and Charles Simpson will takeover the council seat left open by Strickland.
Outgoing Mayor Simpson said he has enjoyed his four years in office, but opted not to serve another term because of his health.
“I’m in my 60s, so I’m not a young guy anymore,” he said. “I’m not in the best of health right now and I just want to spend more time with my family.”
Simpson did not want to go into details, but added he hopes a new vision will cure another condition.
“I would like to see the city progress and still remain as a city, but the financial situation with our city is not in the best of health,” he said. “I would like for (the new mayor) to somehow find the resources to keep the city in the black.”
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