Mayor’s race takes twist

Published 7:52 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mayor Mark Harrell, who succeeded the late Bill K. Reynolds as Bainbridge’s mayor, has decided not to run for re-election in November, opening the door for one of Reynolds’ sons—current Councilman Edward Reynolds—to run for mayor.

Harrell, who had served as the council’s at-large member for 12 years before becoming mayor in 2006, announced his plans not to qualify for re-election at the close of Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Earlier on Tuesday, Councilman Reynolds—who was elected to the council’s at-large seat in 2005—announced his plans to run for mayor in a news release. Harrell, who is married and has three children, said the primary reason behind his decision not to run for re-election was to spend more time with his family. Reynolds, whose at-large seat will be on the ballot in November’s general municipal election, said he decided to run after Harrell informed of his plans.

“I’ve always had an interest in running for mayor, and the opportunity came up,” Reynolds said after the meeting. “Times are difficult and I believe it’s important that the city continue to be fiscally responsible and remain focused on developing the infrastructure that will encourage business development in Bainbridge.”

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Councilmen Greg Waddell and Joe Sweet Jr. both said they plan to qualify as candidates for re-election to the seats they currently hold. Candidate qualifying for the municipal general election will be held August 31 through September 4, with the election taking place on November 3. Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer, who was first elected to the seat she holds in 1988, said she plans to finish her sixth term, which expires in 2011. Councilman Dean Burke, who is currently halfway through his first term on the council, said he does not plan to run for mayor. Councilman Luther Conyers, who has been on the council since 1977 but isn’t up for re-election until 2011, said he had no comment regarding election plans at the present time.