By Alyssa Schnugg
In just a little over two weeks, Oxford residents living in Ward 4 will head to the Oxford Conference Center to cast their vote for the person they want to represent them on the Oxford Board of Aldermen.
By 5 p.m. on Wednesday, two people had qualified to run for the seat left open when the late Ulysses “Coach” Howell died last month.
Kesha Howell-Atkinson entered the race first, qualifying on May 22, and Arnold Pegues submitted his paperwork on Monday. The qualification period ended at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
The election will be held on July 2. Ward 4 residents can cast their vote from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m at the Conference Center off Ed Perry Boulevard.
Howell died May 11 after suffering from a massive stroke. He first took the Ward 4 Alderman seat in 1993 and remained in office until his death.
Howell-Atkinson, the daughter of the late alderman, said she entered the race to continue her father’s legacy and serve her fellow Ward 4 residents.
A physical education teacher at Oxford Middle School, she’s also the head coach for the girls’ track and field team.
In May, Howell-Atkinson told Hottytoddy.com that she and her father had casually talked about her running for a seat on the Board of Aldermen one day in the future when and if Coach Howell ever retired.
“He loved doing it. He loved his ward. But after his passing, I knew I had to do it. I couldn’t let him down. I couldn’t let his ward down,” she said.
Pegues, a life-long resident of Oxford, ran against Howell twice for the Ward 4 seat. On July 2, he will now run against Howell’s daughter.
Graduating from Oxford High School in 1979, he earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi in 2000. He currently works for GE Aviation.
Pegues said he wants the citizens of Ward 4 to have a voice in local government.
“I want to make them feel they have equal representation,” Pegues said Monday. “No matter how small their problem is, I want people to feel like they are heard and are being included.”