Editor's note: This story has been edited to reflect that Joseph K. Power Jr. is running for City Council Ward 3 and not Ward 4, as was incorrectly stated in an earlier version.
TALLADEGA -- With less than a week left to qualify, there are now 19 candidates vying for all five seats on the Talladega City Council and the Talladega City Board of Education, as well as the office of mayor.
According to the Talladega City Clerk’s Office, incumbent Board of Education member for Ward 2 Mary McGhee qualified Tuesday and is currently unopposed. Vickey Robinson Hall also qualified Tuesday and is the only candidate so far for the Ward 2 seat on the City Council. Incumbent Ward 2 Councilman Jarvis Elston announced last month he is not seeking a third term.
Also qualifying Tuesday were Amy M. Calhoun-Bishop for City Council Ward 4 and Travis Ford for City Council Ward 5. Ford previously held the Ward 5 seat for two terms, from 1995 to 2003.
No new candidates filed qualification papers Wednesday, and only two more came in Thursday, with Joseph C. Ballow Sr. qualifying for City Council Ward 5 and Joseph K. Power Jr. qualifying for City Council Ward 3.
Ballow previously represented Ward 5 from 2011 to 2015.
The only office that still had no candidates as of Thursday afternoon was Board of Education Ward 5, currently held by James Braswell.
As of Thursday, the most crowded field is for council Ward 5, consisting of Ballow, Ford, Curtis Holman, the Rev. Hugh Morris and Howard (Trae) Williams III. Incumbent Gerald Cooper has not qualified for a second term.
Three candidates have qualified for council Ward 4, including Calhoun-Bishop, Betty Spratlin and incumbent Ricky Simpson.
Incumbent David Street, Tom Lutchendorf and Power will face off for the council seat for Ward 3. Hall and incumbent Dr. Horace Patterson, in Wards 2 and 1, respectively, are unopposed as of Thursday.
Incumbent Mayor Jerry Cooper is seeking a second term and facing a challenge from Pastor Paul Ledbetter.
None of the school board seats are contested so far. Sandra Beavers is the only candidate for Ward 1, currently represented by Shirley Simmons-Sims. Incumbents McGhee, Jake Montgomery and Chuck Roberts are running unopposed in Wards 2, 3 and 4, respectively.
Qualifying remains open Monday through Friday during regular business hours through July 16.
To be eligible, the candidate must be at least 18 years old, and candidates for council and school board must have lived in their wards for at least 90 days. Candidates for mayor must have lived in the city limits for at least 90 days. A ward map is available at City Hall and online at www.talladega.com.
The general election will be Aug. 27. In races where no candidate gets a majority of the vote, the top two candidates will square off against each other in a runoff Oct. 8. The new mayor, council and school board will all be sworn in in November.