mayors talking.jpg

FORMER VIDALIA Mayor Hyram Copeland (left) chats with Mayor Buz Craft following the regular meeting of the Vidalia Board of Aldermen Tuesday night. Craft defeated Copeland four years ago in the mayor’s race. Copeland is opposing Craft in the 2020 election. The two are the only candidates on the ballot for Vidalia mayor. (Sentinel photo by Joe Curtis)

Familiar names are back on the election ballot in 2020 as incumbent mayors in Ferriday and Vidalia will face the former mayors of those towns during the primary election on April 4.

In Clayton, incumbent Mayor Josephine Washington faces Alderman “Lil” Wilbert Washington, while Police Chief Bobby Madison was unopposed.

Willie L. “Bill” Evans and Shannon Burns Madison, both incumbents, and Carl R. Thompson Sr. were the only candidates to qualify for Clayton’s three aldermen posts.

In Vidalia, three candidates, including Franklin Duson Jr., Chris Stricklin and Arthur Lewis, are opposing incumbent Police Chief Joey Merrill. Lewis, who presently serves as police chief of Ferriday, was the incumbent Vidalia police chief four years ago when defeated by Merrill.

Former Mayor Hyram Copeland of Vidalia, the incumbent defeated by Buz Craft four years ago, is challenging Craft this election.

In Ferriday, incumbent Mayor Sherrie Jacobs McMahon faces Alderman Glenn Henderson, former Clayton Mayor Rydell Turner and Gene Allen, the incumbent mayor four years ago when defeated by McMahon.

Ferriday will have at least two new aldermen with Henderson of District A running for mayor and Chryl Smith Lee of District B not seeking re-election.

In Vidalia incumbent Tron McCoy did not seek re-election in District 1. The other four incumbents are running again.

In a special election for District 1 Justice of the Peace, three candidates are running. Each is seeking to replace Elijah “Stepper” Banks, who resigned the office and is now seeking an alderman post in Ferriday.

Candidates qualifying last week (Jan. 8-10) included:



“Lil” Wilbert Washington (D).

Josephine Washington (D) (incumbent).

Police Chief

Bobby L. Madison Sr. (D) (incumbent).

Aldermen (3 to be elected)

Willie L. “Bill” Evans (D) (incumbent).

Shannon Burns Madison (D) (incumbent).

Carl R. Thompson Sr. (D).



Gene Allen (D).

Glenn Henderson (D).

Sherrie Jacobs McMahan (D) (incumbent).

Rydell Turner (D).

Alderman District A

Brandi Bacon (D).

Wayne Roberts (R).

Shana “Pouncey” Skipper (D).

Alderman District B

Elijah “Stepper” Banks (D).

Margaret J. Glasper (D).

Devonte “Tay” Schiele (NP).

Ahren Williams (D).

Alderman District C

Sharon Denise “Shanice” Goodman (D).

Sandra “Gail” Pryor (D) (incumbent).

Emma “Pupu” Skipper (D)

Alderman District D

Andre Keys (D) (incumbent).

Patricia “Martin” Williams (D).

Johnnie “Rip” Woodruff (D).

Alderman District E

Essie Green (D).

Gloria Lloyd (D) (incumbent).

David Turner (I).



Hyram Copeland (I).

Buz Craft (R) (incumbent).

Police Chief

Frank Duson Jr. (I).

Arthur K. Lewis (D), Vidalia.

Joey Merrill (I) (incumbent).

Chris Stricklin (NP).

Alderman District 1

Rosa Irving Demby (D).

Joseph “BoBo” McCoy (D).

Alderman District 2

Robert Gardner Jr. (D) (incumbent).

Raymond Murray (R).

Jamie Walsworth (R).

District 3 (3 to be elected)

Jon Betts (R) (incumbent).

Sabrina Doré (R), (incumbent).

Chris King (R).

Tommy Probst (R) (incumbent).

Brent Smith (R).


District 1

“Bishop” Justin Conner (D), Ferriday.

Charles Gill Jr. (NP), Ferriday.

Clifton Smith (D), Ferriday.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.