Kingman hoping for more voters this election year

Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson

KINGMAN - The City Council will have a new mayor and at least two new Council members by the end of the year, and residents could learn as early as Monday who else in the community will step up to the plate.

Candidate election packets are available at City Hall and Monday is the start of filing, which ends at 5 p.m. May 28.

"These packets contain all of the required forms to be completed by candidates, as well as the petitions needed for each candidate to obtain the signatures required to be placed on the ballot," said City Clerk Sydney Muhle.

Here's the process:

Candidates can file their petitions and nomination paperwork beginning Monday. Muhle said candidates must make an appointment with her office in order to ensure staff is available. Call (928) 753-5561. Once the recording begins, press 8 and listen for the prompt to the clerk's office.

The packets include important dates detailing when financial disclosures must be filed and other vital information, said Muhle.

To earn a spot on the ballot, candidates this year must collect 144 signatures from registered voters who reside within the city limits. Elections are at large, meaning candidates must campaign citywide.

There is no filing fee, said Muhle, but there are qualifications to meet.

Candidates must be at least 18 years old, a legal Kingman resident, a registered voter and have a clean record.

The mayor's seat and three Council slots are up for grabs, but only incumbents have announced their intentions.

Council members Dick Anderson and Erin Cochran want to replace Mayor Janet Watson. Their terms end this year.

Watson recently announced she would retire from public life when her term ends this year.

Councilwoman Jen Miles will seek a full term. She was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Council last year when Mayor John Salem resigned mid-term and Watson replaced him.

"I'm going to run for the seat to which I was appointed," said Miles following a recent City Council meeting.

The winners will take their seats sometime in December rather than the traditional transition after the New Year, thanks to changes the Legislature made when elections were consolidated last year. A specific date in December wasn't settled on when the City Council adopted a resolution marking the change April 15, but it's likely the new Council will hold its inaugural meeting Dec. 16.

This is Muhle's first election, and she's looking forward to playing her role.

"I am personally very excited for this election," she said. "I'm excited to see who in our community is ready and willing to step forward and serve the residents of Kingman ... and who the citizens of Kingman will choose to represent them."

In 2012, less than 20 percent of Kingman's registered voters participated in the city election, the last one to be held in the spring. Turnout is expected to increase with all elections now held the first Tuesday of November.