Plenty to watch in LaGrange politics in 2023

Published 10:30 am Saturday, December 17, 2022

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When Jim Thornton stepped down as the mayor of LaGrange last month, we knew an election was on the horizon.

Now, it’s official.

The city council called for a special election on March 21 to fill Thornton’s seat as mayor. We imagine it’s been a very interesting discussion behind closed doors, with Mayor Pro Tem Willie Edmondson and Councilmember Jim Arrington both confirming to us that they plan to run for the seat.

That’s where it gets complicated. 

As soon as a sitting council member qualifies for the mayor’s position, they have to resign their council seat. That has made walking around the calendar, and scheduled council meetings, the equivalent of tiptoeing around mouse traps.

Basically, as long as either Edmondson and Arrington (and any other interested council members) qualify on Jan. 25 — the last day to qualify — they’ll be able to participate in the Jan. 24 council meeting as sitting council members. That timing is extremely important. 

The addition of the newly elected Leon Childs was also significant, as it filled in a seat that has been vacant since the passing of LeGree McCamey.

Of course, assuming Edmondson and Arrington do decide to run for mayor, the council will have to figure out how to fill their seats as well. The mayor’s seat is really just part of a whole lot of change.

It’s all very complicated, especially for the average person who doesn’t follow local politics all that closely. 

Hopefully, by the end of March, we’ll have a stabilized council and a look at the future of LaGrange leadership.