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Three eye Viola mayor position

With less than a week remaining to qualify, the 2020 election is heating up in the town of Viola.

On the Nov. 3 ballot will be the seats for Viola’s Mayor and Board of Aldermen. Eight individuals could be seeking to fill those six positions.

Rhonda F. Smith and Kimberly Templeton have qualified to run for the position of mayor. Former alderman Trent Prater has picked up qualifying papers, but has yet to file.

“I am seeking this office because I can be a purposeful leader who will endeavor to make Viola a place where people want to live, work, learn, play, visit, raise your family and grow,” said Smith. “Viola is the epitome of small town USA and I will strive to preserve those values while leading our town into the future.”

Incumbent Mayor William Ramsey has announced he will not seek re-election. 

“Mr. Ramsey has been our mayor for the last several years and he is retiring,” said Templeton. “He and a few others in Viola have always borne the burden of taking care of our town. It is time for others to step up and give back to our community. Now that my son will be going to college, I will have more time to give. My husband is from Viola. His whole family lives within a few block from us. He loves this little town and now I love this town too.” 

Prater left the Viola board in 2012. 

“I’ve lived in Viola all my life,” he said. “I want to ensure that it stays the quaint little village that it is. I’m not against change by no means, but I like Viola the way it is. I’ve been on the board before, and I feel like this is something that I need to do. I’ve had several people ask me to run. I don’t think you can call it a responsibility, but the need is there so I decided to run.”

Alderman Carolyn Garretson will be seeking re-election. She filed July 16, five days after picking up papers.

Qualifying papers are out for incumbent Susan Wilson and newcomers Chris Perry, Arzie “R.Z.” Templeton, and Arzie C. “Tim” Templeton Jr. All are seeking a seat as aldermen.

Candidates have until Aug. 20 at 12 p.m. to file qualifying papers.