Write-in campaign to determine Lucama's next mayor

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LUCAMA — The candidate who musters enough support on the Nov. 5 ballot will become Lucama’s mayor following a recent resignation.

In 2017, commissioner Jed Simpson was elected to finish the second half of Dolan Atkinson’s four-year mayoral term following his resignation for health reasons. A miscommunication led town officials to believe Simpson’s term wasn’t set to expire until 2021, so no one filed for his seat in July.

On Oct. 1, Simpson tendered his resignation because he is moving outside the town limits.

“We’re building a house on a farm outside of town, and we’re getting ready to move, so I went ahead and resigned,” he said.

Mayor Pro-tem Patricia Uzzell stepped up to lead the town on an interim basis.

“I’m grateful for him to believe in me to take on this task,” Uzzell said. “I’m at a loss for words, but I know we’re going to move forward.”

Uzzell, who was elected as a commissioner in 2017, said she plans to “absolutely” launch a write-in campaign to win a full four years as mayor.

“Because the mayor is a four-year term, and (Dolan Atkinson) was elected in 2015 but resigned in early 2017, there were two years unexpired on his term,” said Wilson County Elections Director Rená Morris. “Jed was elected in 2017 to fill the term that was set to expire in 2019, but they were under the impression since he was elected in 2017, the seat would not be up until 2021.”

Simpson said he is hopeful the town resolves looming water issues and is able to grow.

“The town needs to grow,” he said. “I’ve been on the town board for about 30 years, and my father was mayor for a number of years, so I wanted to follow in his footsteps. When he passed away in 2004, he left us the farm and I’ve always wanted to build a house there, so that is what we did, but it is outside the town limits and I had to resign.”

Lucama has six candidates vying for two commissioner seats, but with no one filed for the mayor spot, the winner will be the person with the most write-in votes. If Uzzell is elected through a write-in effort, the board reportedly plans to appoint someone to fill the two years left on her commissioner seat.