Special election set for Leachville mayor

LEACHVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Leachville voters will head to the polls later this year to decide who will serve as mayor in the Mississippi County town.

According to the city clerk's office, council members voted to set an Oct. 10 special election for the seat. There is one year left on the term and voters will also head to the polls on Nov. 2018 to decide a four-year term.

Anyone interested in running must complete the proper paperwork with the Mississippi County Clerk's office.

Mayor Ralph Wells passed away May 26 after a prolonged battled with cancer and pneumonia. He was 80 years old.

Leachville Councilwoman Lisa Baldridge is now serving as mayor pro-tem.

Mayor Ralph Wells served the city of Leachville for 24 years.

According to Moba Lee Miller, close family friend, Wells was being treated for cancer and had been in and out of the hospital three times these past few months.

Miller said tests revealed Wells had double pneumonia and doctors were treating him.

"They had him on antibiotics. They had him on all kinds of medicine, and he was not getting any better," Miller said. "'It came back that he had cancer everywhere, liver and all. They never got to do the MRI on the head because he was getting weaker by the day. And the doctors assumed that it may be in the brain and that's why he was having so much confusion.

However, Miller said Wells was more concerned about serving the community than he was about his health.

"He was a wonderful mayor," she said. In fact, the reason he got out of the hospital and rehab early--and he talked them out of it--he said I've got a lot of people in Leachville. He said I got to go home and take care of my people. And that was the reason why he came home. He was a dedicated man to Leachville."

Miller said Wells desire as mayor was to see the city's Melody Theater fixed back up, and wanted to install a sewer system on Highway 18.

"That's the two things that he really wanted," She said. " And I think the city of Leachville is going to honor this. Ralph may never see it, but I think we'll get all of that done because this was his desire."

Also, council members voted to reappoint Joni Isbell as police chief and donated the town's police K-9 to the Mississippi County Sheriff's Office.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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