Candidates search for votes, turnout as polls open Tuesday

Published 9:56pm Monday, October 8, 2012

Six weeks ago Selma residents headed to the polls to participate in the municipal election. Three of the elections that took place on Aug. 28 were unable to reach a simple majority. State law requires a candidate to achieve a simple majority of the vote in order to win, meaning a candidate must gain 50 percent plus one of the votes, if there are more than two candidates running for an office.

The three elections that did not reach a simple majority include: Selma City Council president, Selma City Council Ward 6 and Selma City School Board District 1, and candidates for those positions will be in the runoff municipal elections today.

Corey Bowie and Tremayne ‘Toby’  Gorden are in the runoff for Selma City Council president after Bowie earned 46 percent of the vote in August and Gorden came in second with 25 percent of the vote.

Monday, Bowie said he was planning to canvass a few more neighborhoods. His goal was to, “try to touch the people and try to convey my message for tomorrow’s election,” he said.

Gorden could not be reached for comment.

Johnnie Leashore and B.L. Tucker are in the runoff for Selma City Council Ward 6.

Tucker received 40 percent of the vote in August, while Leashore earned 32 percent.

Tucker said he was spending his final hours of campaigning, “knocking on doors, canvassing, telling people to get out and vote tomorrow for me, and passing out flyers.”

Leashore said he would keep going until the race was over. He spent Monday, “trying to tie up some loose ends and inform the people about this very important date tomorrow – that is the municipal runoff election,” he said. “Just doing what a person seeking public office needs to do, and that is just keep running this race until it’s over.”

Selma City School Board District 1 runoff is between Dr. Kirit Chapatwala and Cynthia Harris. Chapatwala collected 848 votes and Harris received 697 during the August elections.

Dallas County Board of Registrars member Lola Sewell said she doesn’t really know what kind of crowd to expect for the runoff elections.

“It’s just hard to call, because people — they’re not saying anything about it. They’re just talking about the November election and that’s what they’re updating about,” Sewell said. “I’ve been trying to listen out and say, ‘Don’t forget about the election tomorrow,’ and they say, ‘What election?’ So we’ll just play it by ear.”

Sewell said she hopes city residents do remember to exercise their right to vote on Tuesday.

“We hope they all would just come out and go and exercise their right to vote tomorrow,
Sewell said. “That’s for the city election. It’s what will go on in your city as a whole — so come out and just vote.”

Voters should remember the only citywide election is for Selma City Council president, meaning that election will appear on every ballot at every polling place.

Residents voting in Wards 1 and 2, will see both the council president race and the District 1 school board race on their ballot, while those who live in Ward 6 will see both the council president race and the race for Ward 6 council post.

All other polling places — those in Wards 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 — will only see the council president race on their ballot Tuesday. Polls open at 7 a.m.

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