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Five of the seven candidates for the Ward 2 seat on the Southaven Board of Aldermen answered questions about issues during a recent forum at Trinity Baptist Church in Southaven. From left are Don Daniels, Johnny Johnson, Harold Moore, Greg Paylor and Norine Sloan. Not attending the forum on Monday were Charlie Hoots and Brenda Daniel-Anderson.

Bob Bakken|DTT

Turnout could be light at the polls Tuesday in the special election to fill the open seat in Southaven's Ward 2 if absentee voting is any indication.

According to the Southaven City Clerk's Office only 11 people have cast absentee ballots as of mid-afternoon Friday. 

Absentee ballots will be accepted through noon today at Southaven City Hall.

"I think it will be very light," said Danny Klein, who serves as DeSoto County Election Chairman but is acting in this special election as a consultant to Southaven Election Commissioners. "The last time we had an election in Ward 2 we only had a 10 percent turnout. With seven candidates we might just have a better turnout."

A field of seven candidates is vying to fill the Ward 2 seat last held by ex-Alderman Ronnie Hale, who resigned after being charged with solicitation for prostitution. Hale was subsequently arrested and charged on separate federal charges with possession of child pornography and was arraigned in federal court in Oxford. His trial date has been moved to April 16.

Hale replaced the seat held by former Alderman Shirley Kite, who resigned due to a retirement issue. A regulatory change at the state level forced Kite to make a choice between work and government service.

Kite formerly served as DeSoto County Justice Court Clerk, which has its offices in Southaven. Hale had served in the seat just prior to Kite's election.

Those running for the Ward 2 seat are, in alphabetical order, Brenda Daniel-Anderson, Don Daniels, Charlie Hoots, Johnny Johnson, Harold Moore, Norine Sloan and Greg Paylor.

There have been two special elections in Ward 2 in just the past five years.

The average cost of an election is between $4,000 and $5,000, according to Klein.

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at rlong@desototimestribune.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.

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