Early voting starts Monday

Three-way race for mayor highlight of May 11 ballot

Early voting for the May 11 Rockdale city election, featuring a very visible three-candidate race for mayor, gets under way Monday at City Hall.

There’s also a contested mayor’s race in Thorndale and both Thorndale and Milano have city and school contests to decide.

EARLY BALLOTS—Rockdale’s early voting is at City Hall weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through May 7 with two exceptions.

Those are May 6 and 7 when early voting will be expanded hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

While all residents inside the Rockdale city limits will cast ballots in the mayor’s race, there are also contests in each city council ward.

How do you know which one you’re in? Turn your yellow voter registration card over and look under “city.” If it says RKDW you’re in the west ward, if RKDE you’re in the east.

If it’s blank you don’t live in the Rockdale city limits.

You don’t actually need a voter card if you have another form of ID, such as a driver’s license, according to City Secretary Terry Blanchard, who said the city staff will be able to determine your ward from the address on your ID.

MAYOR—Rockdale’s biggest race, and largest crop of political yard signs in many years, pits three hopefuls to replace current Mayor Larry Jones, who did not seek re-election.

West ward city council member Toby Johnson passed up a possible race for re-election and filed for the mayoral position.

Collier Perry, a former city council member in the 1970s, is also seeking the post of mayor.

John King is a first-time Rockdale political candidate.

There are also contested races for two city council positions. Trent Wages and Nathan Bland are seeking the west ward seat being vacated by Johnson.

Incumbent east ward council member Joyce Dalley is opposed by Robert Lawhon.

Candidates’ statements are on page 5A.

NO ELECTIONS—The RISD school board election was canceled as incumbents Lee Jenkins, Wenda Dyer and Michelle Lehmkuhl were the only candidates filing.

There was no Rockdale Hospital District board election scheduled in 2013.

THORNDALE—Early voting in both the City of Thorndale and Thorndale ISD races is weekdays, Monday through May 7 at the TISD Administration Building, 300 North Main.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day except May 1 and 7, which have expanded hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Rockdale isn’t the only place with a mayor’s race. In Thorndale, incumbent Billy Simank is opposed by former mayor Gerald Niemtschk.

Incumbent council members Don Culp and Steph- anie Churchman are unopposed.

There’s a four-person chase for three at-large seats on the Thorndale ISD School board with incumbents David Hall, Brian Fisher and Debra Stolte opposed by Kevin Kiesling.

MILANO—Early voting in both Milano school and city elections will be weekdays Monday through May 7 at Milano Elementary School.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day except May 1 and 7 when there are expanded hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Five persons are vying for three city council seats, incumbents Carol Newman, Henry Dykes and David Gunnels Jr., along with Claude Lagrone and Kara Zawadske Clore.

It’s a four-person race for three three-year terms on the school board, incumbents Carl Blake, Dewey Steinbecker and Lynette Taylor and newcomer Lynn Martin.

Incumbent Shawn Walton is unopposed for a two-year unexpired term.

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