Two new candidates qualified in city council races Friday, an independent candidate in Ward 3 and a Republican challenger in Ward 6.
Kori Bridges is the third candidate in the Ward 3 race, and as an independent, he will not be on the primary ballot in April. The three-candidate race also includes Republican Rusty Greene and Democrat Sally Brown Tate. All are vying to succeed Councilman Charlie Box, who is not running for re-election.
Jacqueline DiCicco will face incumbent Ward 6 Councilman Bill Gavin in the Republican primary in April. The winner will automatically have the seat, since there are no Democratic or third-party candidates running in Ward 6.
Other competitive races for which qualifiers filed before Friday include independent candidates Montrell Coburn and Keith Gaskin challenging incumbent Mayor Robert Smith; Democrat Tommy Jackson and independent Kallie Phillips challenging Ward 1 Councilwoman Ethel Taylor Stewart; and Democrats Pat Fisher Douglas and former councilman Marty Turner challenging incumbent Pierre Beard in Ward 4.
Councilmen Joseph Mickens of Ward 2 and Stephen Jones of Ward 5 are unopposed for re-election.
Primary elections are April 6. The general election will be June 8.
Four new candidates qualified in aldermen races on Friday, including two Republicans in Ward 5.
Anna Chaney and Brady Hindman will face off in a Republican primary in Ward 5. The Democratic primary will feature incumbent Hamp Beatty and Joe Evans.
In Ward 2, Republican Brice Stubbs qualified Friday and has a guaranteed spot in the general election. The Democratic primary there pits incumbent Sandra Sistrunk against Jimmy Joe Buckley.
Santee Ezell qualified before the deadline as a Democrat in Ward 6, challenging seven-term incumbent Roy A. Perkins, who serves as the city’s vice mayor.
Other competitive races for which qualifiers filed before Friday include Democrat Mike Brooks and Republicans Austin Check and Kevin Daniels running in Ward 4; and Republican incumbent Ben Carver facing Democrat Christine Williams in Ward 1.
Mayor Lynn Spruill, Ward 3 candidate Jeffrey Rupp and Ward 7 incumbent Henry Vaughn, all went unopposed.
The race to succeed outgoing Mayor Robbie Robinson, who is retiring, grew to four candidates before the qualifying deadline, and all but one member of the board of selectmen will face a challenger.
Homer Rylan Jr. qualified this week as an independent candidate for mayor. He and Jennifer Renee Harper, who qualified last week as a Constitution Party candidate, will proceed to the general election and will not appear on the primary ballot. They will face the winner of the Democratic primary between Rod Bobo and Cole Bryan.
The Democratic incumbents in Wards 2, 3 and 5 all received primary challengers this week. Ward 2 Selectman William Binder will face Bryson Gandy, Ward 3 Selectman Ken Poole will face Jonas Robinson, and Ward 5 Selectman Jasper Pittman will face Colby Pennington.
Additionally, Ward 1 Selectwoman Leta Turner faces a challenge from fellow Democrat Linda Hannah, who previously held the seat. The winners of all four competitive primaries will automatically win the seats in June.
Ward 4 Selectman Keith McBrayer is unopposed for re-election.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.