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Butch Howard Retirement Party Today


Elected Officials Will Be
Sworn-In January 3rd

Ron Williams

Longtime Lowndes County Sheriff Butch Howard will end his law enforcement career Friday. A party has been planned in honor of his service, which includes the last 3 terms as sheriff and also 3 terms as chief deputy under former Sheriff Ed Prescott, this morning (Thursday) at 11 a.m. untill 2 p.m. at the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office on MLK Drive. The retirement party will take place in the lobby and well wishers are encouraged to stop by and see the sheriff in his officail capacity for the final time.
We wish Sheriff Howard and his wife, Jane, all the best and hope his retirement is peaceful and prosperous.
Sheriff Howard’s replacement, Mike Arledge, will join all other recently elected and reelected county office-holders next Tuesday morning, January 3rd at 9 a.m. at the upper-level of the Trotter Convention Center, as The Lowndes County Board of Supervisors host an Inaugural Ceremony. The public is invited to the event. Arledge will join several newcomers to county political office, though Arledge has held a justice court judge seat for the past 8 years. County Prosecuting Attorney-Elect Allison Pritchard Kizer and Lowndes County School Superintendent-Elect Lynn Wright, both winning elected office for the first time, will join Arledge and returning District 2 Justice Court Judge Ron Cooke. Cooke won his old seat back, which was vacated when Arledge ran for sheriff.
Kizer defeated primary opponent Shane Tompkins in the Republican primary in August, then defeated Democrat opponent Chuck Easley in November. Kizer had the endorsement of retiring County Prosecutor Tim Hudson, who had served in the position for over 20 years. Hudson will continue in his appointed position of city prosecutor and Board of Supervisors attorney. Wright won the Republican primary is August, then defeated 2 opponents in November. The former New Hope principal will take over for retiring superintendent Mike Halford, who served two terms of office.
In addition to Ron Cooke, longtime Justice Court Judge Peggy Phillips will be sworn in again, as will Judge Chris Hemphill. Phillips defeated primary opponent Monique Montgomery in August. Hemphill was unopposed.
Four returning supervisors and one new one will be sworn in Tuesday. District 1’s Harry Sanders, District 3’s John Holliman, District 4’s Jeff Smith and District 5’s Leroy Brooks will return. The lone newcomer is District 2 Supervisor-Elect Bill Brigham, who defeated Frank Ferguson in August. After a long career in the banking business, this is Brigham’s first venture into public office.
All 3 constables are returning to office…Willie ‘Hoot’ West, Joe Ables and ‘Sonny’ Sanders. As is Chancery Clerk Lisa Neese and Circuit Clerk Haley Salazar. Tax Assessor/Collector Greg Andrews is returning (he was unopposed) as is County Coroner Greg Merchant, who was also unopposed.
We wish all the elected officials well during their coming terms.
Early Names Being Mentioned As Columbus Mayor Challengers
Several names have surfaced lately as potential Columbus mayoral candidates in 2013. Allegra Brigham, Bo Jarrett, and Joseph St. John are just a few names that have been mentioned. I’m sure there’ll be others before the time comes.

Ron Williams can be reached by email at Ronsings2you@aol.com

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