It's official: 11 candidates quallify for Rome City Commission race

Rome City Clerk Joe Smith looks for last-minute qualifiers for the City Commission race just before the filing deadline of 4:30 p.m. Friday. There was only one candidate to file paperwork Friday, former radio sportscaster James “Jim” Bojo, for a Ward 1 seat.

A total of 11 candidates have qualified for the Rome City Commission election slated for Nov. 5 for Wards 1 and 3.

The qualifying period ended at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

For Ward 1, former radio sportscaster James “Jim” Bojo, now retired, submitted his paperwork at about 3 p.m. Friday — the only candidate to qualify on the last day this week. Joining him are incumbents Sundai Stevenson, Milton Slack and Bill Irmscher, as well as Mark Cochran and Charles Love.

For Ward 3, incumbents Bill Collins and Craig McDaniel are vying to keep their seats against Bonny Askew, J.J. Walker Seifert and Jamieson Palmer.

Absent from the Ward 3 list is long-time Commissioner Evie McNiece, an accountant who chairs the water and sewer committee. She’s the only member whose term expires Dec. 31 who is not running for reelection. She could not be reached for comment by press time Friday.

Rome is divided into three wards, with three seats in each ward for a total of nine commissioners. Commissioners in Ward 2 are not up for election this year; their terms run through 2021.

Candidates must live in the ward where they qualify but all city voters will weigh in on the races.

They’ll be able to choose up to three candidates in each ward. The three candidates in each ward with the most votes will take the seats in January.

Ward 1 covers the downtown district and the area to the east, between the Oostanaula and Etowah rivers. Ward 3 is west of the Oostanaula and north of the Coosa River.

Candidates must be at least 21, a registered voter since at least May and a city resident for at least a year as of the election date. The filing fee is $252.

They also must be paid up on their federal, state and local taxes and, for any candidate convicted of a “felony involving moral turpitude,” at least 10 years must have elapsed since the completion of their sentence.

Cave Spring’s elections are canceled this year, since there are no contests for the seats. Former mayor Rob Ware was the sole qualifier for the mayoral post and will take up the gavel in January. Incumbent City Council members Tom Lindsey and Joyce Mink netted no challengers to their reelection bids.

There are no federal, state or county elections this year.

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