Two qualify for Smithville mayor's race

LEESBURG -- Smithville Mayor Jerry Myrick will have a challenger for the office he's held the past eight years when municipal elections are held in Lee County Nov. 8.

David Bady, who unsuccessfully ran for a Smithville City Commission seat in 2000, qualified to challenge Myrick Monday, the first day of qualifying for three positions in the city's municipal government.

There were no reports of candidates qualifying for any of three Leesburg City Council seats up for re-election.

In addition to the mayoral candidates in Smithville, incumbent Ward I and Ward II City Commissioners James Champion and Willie Mae Davis, respectively, also qualified to return to their posts Monday.

"When the present mayor (Myrick) announced he was going to run again, that's when I decided to run," Bady said Monday afternoon. "He's been in office for two terms, and I strongly feel he hasn't done a good job for the city.

"I've initiated a voter registration drive, and I've started door-to-door canvassing. I've been sending mail-out literature in the community, including a 10-point paper on what I feel are the most important needs in Smithville. I absolutely feel I have an excellent shot at beating (Myrick)."

Attempts to contact Myrick, Champion and Davis Monday were unsuccessful, but Lee County Elections Supervisor Veronica Johnson said her office had certified all four candidates who qualified Monday.

"Everything's A-OK with their candidates," Johnson said.

Current Post 6 Leesburg City Councilwoman Rhonda Futch created a bit of a stir when she told The Albany Herald in an article that appeared in Monday's edition of the newspaper that she had not decided whether to commit to a full four-year-term.

"What has bewildered me about serving on the council is that it takes a lot of your time -- a lot more than I ever thought it would -- to do the job right," Futch said. "A lot of that I put on myself because I don't believe in just being on a board to fill a seat."

Futch, who won a special election to finish an unexpired term on the council, said Monday afternoon she still hasn't made a final decision.

"I didn't really get a chance to talk with my husband over the weekend, and there are a couple of people on the council I want to talk with (before deciding)," Futch said. "But right now I can say I'm more yes on running than I am no."

Post 4 incumbent Bobby Wilson has already said he plans to seek another four-year term. Sidney Johnson currently holds the Post 5 council seat.