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Voters in Richmond, Fleming, Henrietta and Wood Heights will need to sharpen their pencils when casting a ballot April 2. Write-in votes will likely determine the outcome of three mayoral races and five council seats.
Richmond Ward II has no candidate on the ballot, as incumbent Carla Hogan is not seeking a second term because of family health issues, she said. Hogan said she would consider another two-year term, however, if she won as write-in.
Deanna Guy, a 35-year resident of Richmond, told the Richmond News Thursday morning she has decided to become a write-in candidate for Ward II because the ward seat was vacant and it was “time for me to take another step to do all I can do to make it an even a better place to live, work and raise families.”
“When there’s no candidates, we have write-ins,” said Richmond City Attorney Chris Williams. “We’ll probably even get some votes for Mickey Mouse; that’s been my experience.”
A fictional character, however, won’t pass muster as a council member. A successful write-in winner has to be a person who lives in the city limits or ward, a registered voter and be free of felony convictions, according to the Ray County Clerk’s office.
“We had one election in Oak Grove, a guy who used to be on the board and his family voted for him and he got 12 votes and won. That’s how it works,” Williams said.
In Fleming, there are no official candidates nor write-in candidates for mayor, a two-year term. For the mayor’s race in Henrietta, William Frentrop and Vicki Van Speybroeck missed the deadline to be on the ballot, according to Ray County Clerk Glenda Powell; however, they are official write-in candidates. They go against Jim Lane, who’s on the ballot. No one is on the ballot for Wood Heights mayor, but Bruce Bellemore has registered with the Ray County Clerk’s office as a write-in candidate.