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Mayor seat produces only race

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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Incumbent Camp Verde Mayor Bob Burrnside is facing a challenge from former Councilman Charlie German in the upcoming March primary.

The seat is the only one out of five open seats on the council that is being contested on the ballot next year.

Three other incumbents are running for their seats including Robin Whatley, a teacher at American Heritage Academy currently serving her first term; Jackie Baker, a former council-woman who returned to the council in the last election after losing the previous election; and Jessie Jones, who works for a local pecan farm and was appointed to fill in for Councilman Alan "Buck" Buchanan, who resigned from the council in order Charlie to pursue an unsuccessful bid for a seat on the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors.

Bradford 0Gordon, who runs a rental property business, is running for a seat that will be left vacant by Vice Mayor Bob Kovacovich, who was appointed in 2003 and continued to win elections.

Jones will be elected to a two year term; the remaining time left for the seat.

The other council seats are four-year terms with the exception of the mayor's position, which is always a two-year term.

German, a retired educator, was originally appointed to the council in 2008 but stepped down the following year citing health concerns.

Burnside, who works for a plumbing and electrical contracting company, is seeking a third term.

Burnside is also the only candidate who has filed paperwork stating his campaign may spend up to $500 All the other candidates running have indicated they will likely spend less than $250.

Even though four of the five empty seats are unopposed, town officials stress the importance of voting for the candidates if they don't have a write-in alternative.

State law requires that primary candidates, even those running unopposed, must win 50 percent plus one vote in order to avoid having to go on to a general election, said Virginia Jones, Camp Verde deputy town clerk.

"Many people just see that there's only one person running so they won't even bother to mark it," Jones said.

If the unopposed candidates don't win the primary by the 50 percent plus one vote margin, Jones said the town will have no choice but to hold a general election in May.

Such a scenario was avoided in 2011, but if a general election has to be held it will cost the town $15,000, Jones said.

"A lot of people would be wondering why on earth we are having an election when everyone was unopposed," Town Manager Russ Martin said.

There is also the issue still to be resolved of how these terms will be affected by a new law that requires municipal primaries and elections to be held only in August and November of even-numbered years.

The primary election is set for March 12 followed by the general election, if necessary, May 21.

Mark Lineberger can be reached at 567-3341 or email

Copyright 2012 The Camp Verde Journal, Camp Verde, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: December 19, 2012

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