Déjà vu? LaGrange City Council approves another special election to fill Arrington’s seat

Published 6:13 pm Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Although the circumstances are vastly different, the LaGrange City Council will hold an election for mayor and a District 1 council seat for the second time in a year.

After councilman Jim Arrington resigned Tuesday night to run for mayor, the council approved a special election on May 21 to fill Arrington’s vacant seat.

In January 2023, Arrington and Willie Edmondson resigned their council seats to run for mayor following the resignation of Jim Thornton, who took a job with the Georgia Municipal Association.

Edmondson won that election and served nearly a year as mayor before passing away Friday. After being defeated in the mayor race, Arrington re-ran for his council seat and was re-elected in June.

Now, voters will again fill both seats.

Unlike Tuesday night’s council meeting, where there was controversy over the timing of the call for a special election, Wednesday’s was short.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the council unanimously called for an election to fill Arrington’s vacated seat on May 21.

During Tuesday’s meeting, City Attorney Jeff Todd explained the timing by saying if the council wanted to have the election at the next available opportunity on May 21, it needed to be called either Tuesday or Wednesday to meet a state requirement that the election call be made 90 days prior to the election. Otherwise, the city would have to wait until the November General Election.

After the vote, Arrington stepped down from the council and as mayor pro-tem, saying he intended to run for mayor in the May 21 election.

After Arrington stepped down, the remaining council unanimously voted Councilman Quay Boddie as the new mayor pro-tem.  Todd said the important dates will be the same for both elections with qualifying opening at 8:30 a.m. on March 11 and closing on March 13 at 4:30 p.m. March 20 is the deadline for write-in candidates to file and publish.

Voter registration ends on April 22 for the election on May 21. A run-off will be held June 18 if needed.