By Dave Rogers

For The Record

While two local governing bodies are set to cancel their May 6 elections because of a lack of candidates, the City of Orange underwent a shakeup of city council wannabes in the run-up to the filing deadline.

The period to register as a candidate for the May 6 elections for local school board and city council elections ended Friday, Feb. 17.

Those who have filed have until Friday, Feb. 24, to take their name off the ballot.

Hair stylist Paul Burch, one of two to file early to oppose incumbent Essie Bellfield for Orange city council District 3, will not be on this spring’s ballot. Burch did not meet the residency requirement, City Secretary Trisha Anderson said.

Meanwhile, business owner Michael Smith beat the filing deadline to join Bellfield and registered nurse Terrie Salter in the race for the District 3 seat that comes with a three-year term.

That gives the City of Orange a pair of three-way contested races for May 6.

Incumbent Larry Spears Jr. has drawn two opponents for his re-election bid for at-large Place 6. Veronica Monique Woodle is a former Orange police officer while Mary Ekene is a collections supervisor.

Candidates were not so plentiful for the cities of Pinehurst and West Orange, which will be officially canceling their May 6 election at their next regularly scheduled council meetings.

Only incumbents Dan Mohon, T.W. Permenter and Sarah McClendon filed to run in Pinehurst and are considered re-elected, Debbie Courmier, city secretary, said.

In West Orange, incumbent mayor Roy McDonald and incumbent council members Frances Droddy-Lopez and Carl Thibodeaux were re-elected by virtue of drawing no opponents.

The City of Bridge City will have one contested race: Carl Harbert and Phillip Todora, Jr., for Place 1. Incumbents Tammi Fisette, Place 3; and Terri Gauthier, Place 5; drew no opponents.

That is also the case for the Bridge City and Little Cypress-Mauriceville school districts.

In BCISD, incumbent Michael Johnson faces a challenge from Michael Daniel McGee for Place 6 while incumbent Mark Anderson drew no challenger for Place 7.

Barry L. Bates and Kevin Abernathy will face off to fill Place 2 on the LCMCISD board while incumbents Randy McIlwain and Marlene Courmier are unopposed for re-election.

Three candidates, including incumbent Ruth Hancock, will be on the West Orange-Cove CISD ballot for two at-large three-year terms. The top two vote-getters among Hancock, Kianna Edwards-Brooks and Tommy Wilson, Sr. will claim the seats.

Orangefield ISD holds its elections in November.

Early voting for the May 6 elections will run from Monday, April 24 through Tuesday, May 2. Hours and polling places will be listed in future election stories.