|City, SSISD, HCMH races draw strong fields of candidates|
|Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor|
March 8, 2005 - By the end of the filing period for city, school and hospital board elections on Monday, contested races had developed for the two at-large seats on Sulphur Springs School District board of trustees, for three at-large seats on the Hopkins County Memorial Hospital board and for one of two seats on the Sulphur Springs City Council.
In the city election, interest centers on the Place 7 council seat being vacated by Lydia Bryant, who chose not to seek another term because of business interests.
Filing as candidates for the Place 7 seat are Yolanda Williams, Bobby Bankston and Dan Hamiter.
Williams, who is a full-time college student, said this is her first venture into politics, but she has been considering seeking a seat on the City Council for several years.
"Two years ago I thought about running, but I just put it on the back burner," she said. "Always it has been one of my dreams to run for City Council and to make a difference, and I feel I can do a good job on the council."
Bobby Bankston, owner of Memorial Monument, submitted the necessary paperwork last Thursday to become the second person seeking the Place 7 council seat.
Dan Hamiter made the race for Place 7 even more interesting when he added his name to the ballot last Friday.
Hamiter is the owner of Dan's the Man services and has purchased a number of businesses in the downtown area where he wants to be a part of the effort to renovate the area.
"My real desire, right now, is to be part of the renovation of the downtown area," Hamiter said. "I've got it started and really want to be a part of it, a big part of it."
Incumbent Place 6 Councilman Chris Brown was not challenged in his bid for a second three-year term on the council. Brown also serves as mayor.
Four candidates are vying for two at-large seats on the Sulphur Springs school board, including incumbent trustee Jackie Brice, who is finishing up her first term on the school board.
Stacy Cody, a local pharmacist and former Sulphur Springs City Council member, was the second person to file for a school board seat.
Veteran educator John M. "Jack" Chubb became the third person to enter the race when he filed as a candidate early last week.
Just before the deadline Monday, Robert James "Rob" Stanley, an educator in the North Hopkins School District, filed as candidate for a seat on the Sulphur Springs ISD school board.
Incumbent school trustee Eddie Northcutt is not seeking a second term on the school board. Northcutt, an attorney, said his private law practice was growing and that he did not feel he could dedicate as much time as needed to the school board.
Northcutt did not rule out a later return to politics.
Three at-large seats on the board of directors at Hopkins County Memorial Hospital have drawn the interest of the incumbents as well as two political newcomers.
Candidates seeking re-election to the hospital board include Tim Kelty, Dr. I.L. Balkcom IV and William Zahn.
Also filing as candidates for the hospital board are Stacy Hollis and Ester Vaughn.