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Special election still a one-person race

The special election to fill the vacant alderman seat for Ward IV could be all but a formality in July, as only one candidate has qualified for the election since Oxford’s Board of Alderman announced it on May 21. 

The election takes place following the sudden death of Ulysses ‘Coach’ Howell on May 11. State law requires city governments to announce vacant seats and set a date for a special election within 10 days of a board member’s passing. Howell served as the Ward IV alderman for 26 years. 

Howell’s daughter, Kesha Howell-Atkinson, announced her intention to run for her father’s seat on May 22 and officially qualified later that week. With 12 days remaining until the qualification deadline, officials at city hall confirmed on Thursday that Atkinson-Howell remains the only candidate in the race. 

“I am running to continue doing the things that my father believed,” Howell-Atkinson told the EAGLE earlier this month. “He was constantly giving back to the community that gave a lot to him.” 

Deadline for potential candidates to qualify is June 12, which is 20 days prior to the July 2 election.