Monday, May 3, was the filing deadline for independent candidates seeking elected offices in 2021 in the cities of Jackson and Wellston. A total of five independent candidates filed to be on the Nov. 2 general election ballot -- three in Wellston and two in Jackson.

In Wellston, all three candidates filed for the position of at-large council, which is voted on by residents all over the city. Those candidates happen to be the three incumbents: Roaby Browning, Tom Clark, and Fred Duby.

The addition of these three candidates means there will be a contest for at-large council in Wellston as there is a total of three positions available and Teresa Ponn-Lemaster had previously filed as a Republican candidate.

In Jackson, incumbent At-Large Councilman Dan Coll and former mayoral candidate Barbie McCathren both filed to run as independent candidates for at-large council in the Nov. 2 general election. This sets up a five-way contest for the three at-large council positions as incumbents Brett Foster and Marva Colby and former City Councilman Jon Ondera had previously filed as Republican candidates. Coll ran as a Republican candidate in 2019.

At this point, there is still no candidate for the 4th Ward City Councilman post in the city of Jackson. Republican Pete Bopp currently holds that position, but his petition as a Republican candidate for re-election in 2021 was rejected back in February due to a lack of valid signatures. Bopp did not file as an independent candidate for 4th Ward Council and neither did anybody else.

This opens the door for write-in candidates to seek this position, but write-in candidates do not have to file “declarations of intent” with the Jackson County Board of Elections until a deadline of 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 23.