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The Carthage Press
  • Ward 2 seat still up for grabs

  • Four out of the five seats that were up for reelection on the Carthage City Council on Tuesday have been filled, but city officials are still looking into how to fill the fifth seat.
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  • Four out of the five seats that were up for reelection on the Carthage City Council on Tuesday have been filled, but city officials are still looking into how to fill the fifth seat.
    Jasper County Clerk Bonnie Earl's office said Brady Beckham won the write-in vote in Ward 3 over opponents such as Mickey Mouse and other interesting names.
    Beckham was appointed to the seat in February to serve until April after John Studebaker resigned. No one filed for the seat in the local election filing period in December and January, but Beckham decided to file as a write-in for the full two-year term.
    Beckham earned the majority of the 57 write-in votes in Ward 3.
    A total of 13 write-in ballots were cast in Ward 2, but only five of the ballots had the names of people who could be confirmed as qualified to hold the seat.
    Earl's office said each of the five ballots had a different name. The names on the ballots were Augustin Sanchez, Tia Strait, Paul McCoy, Fred Merrill and Ron Cole.
    The Carthage Press attempted to contact each of the five people by phone.
    Paul McCoy said he would be willing to serve, while John Frederick "Fred" Merrill's wife said she didn't think he would be willing.
    Carthage City Clerk Lynn Campbell said the city has contacted the Missouri Secretary of State's office to confirm how a winner should be chosen.
    Campbell said each candidate will be contacted to see if they are willing to serve prior to a method being chosen to break the logjam.
    She said the most likely method for picking a winner with so many candidates will be to draw lots at a future meeting, but she's awaiting confirmation by the Missouri Secretary of State's office before announcing what method will be used.
    The election results will likely be certified by Friday and accepted at the next city council meeting, slated for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 22.

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