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Mayor Johnny Magee gives the City of Laurel’s Annual State of the City Address during the Laurel City Council meeting this week.

The heat is on.

The number has been set, and 23 people have put their hats in the races for the City of Laurel’s upcoming election for city officials.

The mayor and most of the members of the Laurel City Council have submitted their paperwork to run as candidates in the city’s upcoming summer elections.

Qualifying for municipality elections began January 4 and ended at 5 p.m. on Friday, February 5, 2021.

The city’s top position has gained the attention of six candidates.

Current mayor Johnny Magee has submitted his paperwork for re-election as a Democrat for the upcoming election.

Additionally, former television personality and national school board president Miranda Beard has submitted her paperwork as an Independent candidate for the city’s mayoral position.

Also, Ward Five Councilman Stacy Comegys has submitted his paperwork to be a Democrat in the mayoral race.

Additionally, Kim Page and Anthony Hudson have submitted their paperwork to be Independent candidates in the mayoral race.

For the Ward One City Council position, incumbent Councilman Jasper Capers has submitted his papers to be an Independent candidate in the upcoming election.

Ernest Hollingsworth and Vincent Merrill have submitted their paperwork to be Democratic candidates in the Ward One race.

For the Ward Two City Council position, incumbent Councilman Tony Wheat has submitted his papers to be a Republican candidate in the election.

Kevin Kelly has submitted his paperwork to be a Republican candidate in the Ward Two race.

For the Ward Three City Council position, incumbent Councilman Tony Thaxton has submitted his papers to be a Republican candidate in the election. No other person submitted qualifying paperwork in this race.

For the Ward Four City Council position, incumbent Councilman George Carmichael has submitted his papers to be a Democratic candidate in the election.

State representative Omeria Scott has also submitted her paperwork to be a Democratic candidate in that race.

For the Ward Five City Council position currently being held by Stacy Comegys, two people have submitted paperwork: Joe M. Porter Sr. and Andrea Ellis, who are both seeking to be Democratic candidates in that race.

For the Ward Six City Council position, Councilwoman Grace Amos, who was elected in a special election to serve the remainder of the term of former Councilman Travares Comegys (who resigned to become a

Jones County Supervisor) has filed her papers to be a candidate for a full four-year term. Amos submitted her papers to be a Democratic candidate in the election.

Additionally, Felix Fenderson has submitted his papers to also be a Democratic candidate in that race for the Ward Six position on the city council.

For the Ward Seven City Council position, incumbent Anthony Page has submitted his papers to be a Democratic candidate in the upcoming election.

Additionally, four other people have filed their paperwork as challengers in the Ward Seven race. Those submitting their papers to be Democratic candidates in the Ward Seven race are Tracy House and Shirley Keys-Jordan.

Those qualifying as Independent candidates are Andrew D. Robinson and Narsett Wilkins.

City Clerk Mary Ann Hess said the potential candidates’ paperwork will be reviewed by their respective party committees which will determine if the persons are officially qualified as candidates for their parties.

She said the Democratic Party is scheduled to have a zoom meeting on Monday to review the potential candidates.

City officials said those living in the recently-annexed Pendorff area, which added residents to the city, will have a right to vote in the upcoming election.

The primary election is scheduled for April with the general election being in June.

The newly elected officials are scheduled to take office in July to serve a four-year term as city officials.