Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. today for the Durant, Achille, Bennington and Bokchito municipal elections plus a proposition for a lodging tax in Durant.
In Durant, voters will choose among Stephen Jones, Oden Montgomery Grube and Stewart J. Hoffman for council member Ward No. 2. Hoffman, who serves as Durant mayor, is the incumbent. All city residents are eligible to vote, regardless of which ward they reside.
Also, Durant voters will vote on a proposition for a five-percent hotel tax to provide funds for enhancing and promoting tourism. City officials say revenues will be “earmarked” solely for the purpose of encouraging, promoting and marketing of tourism, conventions and events in Durant. The funds will be overseen by a seven-member board to be known as The Durant Tourism Economic Development Authority.
City officials say lodging taxes have become more the “norm” than the exception in most large cities and towns in the state.
Durant does not currently have a lodging tax and this is not a tax that a Durant resident would have to pay. Hotel owners in the past have not been in favor of a lodging tax, but support this one because all funds are earmarked for promoting tourism.
In other municipal elections, Achille residents will be voting between Billie Hughes and Lynn Chambers for an unexpired term on the board of trustees.
In Bennington, Eddy Walley, Idanel Wright and Rachael Reynolds are running for the board of trustees. Voters will choose two out of the three.
Also in Bennington, Dewaina Halleck, Emily Hyde and Christie N. Lemons are running for unexpired terms on the board. Residents will vote for two of the three.
Phillip Mark Green Jr., Danny Stewart, Dalton James Bacon and Cathey Wingo Keirsey are candidates for the Bokchito Board of Trustees. Voters will chose three.
Taylor Collins, Jimmie W. Long and Rozell Tidwell are running for unexpired terms on the Bokchito Board of Trustees. Residents will vote for two out of the three.
The Democrat will post election returns this evening on its website www.durantdemocrat.com.
From staff and election board reports.