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Candidates qualify for Lee elections

LEESBURG -- With only today's final day of qualifying left, there is still no candidate to fill the Post 6 seat on the Leesburg City Council.

Rhonda Futch, who told The Albany Herald earlier in the week she was talking over options with family and other council members before committing to a four-year term in office, still has not qualified to return to the post she's held for less than a year after winning a special election to fill an unexpired term on the council.

No other candidate has expressed interest in the seat currently held by Futch, who was at a prolonged council work session Thursday evening and unavailable for comment.

Veteran City Councilman Sidney Johnson did make his Post 5 candidacy official Thursday by qualifying at Leesburg City Hall, according to City Clerk Casey Moore. Post 4 Councilman Bob Wilson, who has been on the board since 1974, qualified for another four-year term on Monday.

In Smithville, which already has a three-man race for the mayor's office held for the past eight years by Jerry Myrick, incumbent Ward 2 City Commissioner Willie Mae Davis found out Thursday she will have opposition in her quest to return to office. Juliette "Dipper" Bush, a former Cooper Tire employee who ran against Davis in 2007, qualified to seek the Ward 2 seat on Thursday, according to Lee Elections and Registration Supervisor Veronica Johnson.

Davis qualified to seek re-election on Monday.

"There's a lot of stuff that needs to be addressed in Smithville," Bush said Thursday. "We need a GED and a pre-K program for our kids, and we need a Boys and Girls Club to give our young people something to do.

"We also need a place for our elderly to go so that they don't have to ride all the way to Leesburg. I'll be getting out into the community, letting the folks know my ideas to make our city better."

Qualifying for the three Smithville and Leesburg offices contested in Lee County's Nov. 8 municipal elections closes today at 4:30 p.m. Any person seeking office as a write-in candidate has until next Friday to file a notice and publish his or her intent to do so.