Southside makes history with first-ever election

Southside makes history with first-ever election

SOUTHSIDE, AR (KAIT) - The city of Southside filed to hold its first election in history, and now it's official: August 11 is Election Day.

After winning a 7-month battle against Batesville, residents said Southside is ready to start acting like a real city. 

"We have pulled together is what's we've done," resident Vince Gay said. "We've had a long process to get to where we are now: the election. So here we are and we'd like for everyone to participate in this."

People living within city limits can register to run for Southside's first mayor, one of five city council positions, city marshall, recorder or treasurer. 

"I don't know what kind of turnout as far as candidates we're gonna have," Gay said. "Right now we're hoping we'll have a bunch and have a good runoff. Time will tell."

Gay has invested his life in Southside. He has been a homeowner for 35 years, a business owner for 20, and a father who raised a family here. 

"I've got to know the people here and I love this community," he said. "I just want to see it prosper, advance and do good."

Region 8 News asked Gay if he will run for mayor. 

"I haven't made up my mind yet," he said. "Time will tell. We will see."

More than 100 Southside residents filled Allen Chapel Church Tuesday night to learn more about the city's first-ever election. Attendees also encouraged each other to run for office.

So far one person announced her candidacy. Sheri Caveness filed to run for the city's first mayor.

Gay said he hopes more people step up to lead the city. He said Southside has fought so hard to become its own city that it cannot lose momentum now. 

"We enjoy our freedom south of the river and we want to keep this," Gay said. 

The deadline for candidates to file certificates of nomination with the Independence County clerk is May 22. 

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