The filing period for the April Municipal Election has officially closed and the open seats for the Branson Aldermen and Mayor positions have seen more interest than usual.
By the end of the filing period on Tuesday, five candidates had filed for mayor, five for the Ward 3 alderman seat, and three more for the Ward 1 alderman seat.
With only 15 minutes remaining in the filing period, Ward 2 Alderman Larry Milton withdrew his name for re-election to that seat and, instead, filed to join the crowded race for mayor. Cody Fenton had filed Tuesday morning to run against Milton for the Ward 2 seat, but now Fenton will run unopposed.
Milton will be running against current Mayor Edd Akers; former mayor Karen Best; Marshall Howden, who ran for mayor in 2016; and Amber Thomsen.
The Ward 1 seat, currently held by Alderman Bob Simmons who did not file for reelection, will see a race between Rod Romine, Clay Cooper and Jantzen Craine.
Finally, the Ward 3 seat, currently held by Julia King, who was appointed last August after the resignation of Kevin McConnell, will see her run to retain her seat. She will face four challengers: Richard Allan Banks, Daniel Meenen, Dr. Ralph J. LeBlanc and Ruth Denham.
All of the Branson seats open in the municipal election are for two year terms.
Aldermen Bill Skains, Jeff Seay and Jamie Whiteis are in the middle of their two-year terms. Their terms will be up in April 2022.
Another contested city election in Taney County is for Hollister’s Ward 2 alderman seat. Incumbent David Willard will run against challenger Trent Davis. Ward 1 alderman Lamar Patton will run unopposed for re-election.
For the Branson School Board, three candidates will run for two seats. Those include incumbents Dan Boone and Cole Currier, and challenger Krista Meadows.
The Reeds Spring School District also has three candidates running for two positions. Those are incumbent Joelene L. Powell, as well as Lisa M. Boyd and Richard Staley. Current board member Jennifer Maloney did not file to run again.
For the Blue Eye School Board, incumbents Joe Feagans and Daphne Jones are running to retain their seats against challenger John T. Clark.
The Hollister and Forsyth districts only had two candidates each file. Since they have the same number of candidates and available seats, they are not required to hold an election. For Hollister, incumbents John Winkert and Rose Schook will retain their seats. In Forsyth, incumbents Lacey Sanders and Tony Mullen will retain their seats.
Some other seats in the Tri-Lakes area:
In Forsyth, Kelly Doughtery is running to retain her seat as mayor. C. Jack Baker is running to retain his alderman Ward 1 seat. Dennis Wenzenried is running for a Ward 2 seat.
In Rockaway Beach, Jim Harriger is the only candidate who filed for mayor. Kyle Hinkle is the only candidate who filed for alderman Ward 1, and no one filed to run for alderman Ward 2.
In Branson West, Ron Flam is running for re-election as mayor. Ken Pollock is running to retain his Ward 1 alderman seat, and Gary Brant is running to retain his Ward 2 alderman seat.
In Kimberling City, Virgil Moore is running to retain his Ward 1 alderman seat, and Dan Jacobs is running to retain his Ward 2 alderman seat.
Tim Church and Cliff Sain also contributed to this story.