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As the filing period gets under way today for the 2018 midterm elections, an El Dorado mayoral candidate has decided to pursue another elected office.

Tony Henry announced Wednesday that he is withdrawing his bid for El Dorado mayor and will seek his former seat on the El Dorado City Council.

Henry said he will run for alderman of Ward 3, Position 2, a position he held for five years until his candidacy for mayor in 2014.

Henry said he made the decision after learning that incumbent Ward 3, Position 2 Alderman Kensel Spivey, the first African American woman to serve on the El Dorado City Council, will not seek re-election this year.

Spivey said she will not pursue a third term for the Ward 3 seat because she is moving to another ward. City aldermen must live in the ward they represent.

However, Spivey said she may consider a future bid for city council in her new ward.

Henry commended Spivey for the work she has done to represent Ward 3.

“In her time served, she helped to change the culture and the attitude of the people here in Ward 3 in a positive way,” he wrote in an email to the News-Times. “She will always be in the hearts and souls of the people in Ward 3. We wish her well.”

With Spivey stepping down, Henry said he wanted to carry on her work with continued growth and improvements in Ward 3 and providing a familiar voice for the residents there.

“A true leader will unleash their influence where they are and as a true leader, I have to finish the work that has been started in Ward 3,” Henry said.

“We must sweep around our own front door first and be a positive example for it to spread all over the city of El Dorado,” he continued.

Henry’s withdrawal leaves four candidates in the running for the city’s top elected post: incumbent Mayor Frank Hash; El Dorado Police Department Sgt. Chris Lutman; Bill Luther, utility engineer, customer service manager in the El Dorado office of Entergy and community volunteer; and Veronica Smith-Creer, small business owner and community leader and volunteer.

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Political party filing starts at noon today in the Union County Clerk’s Office, which is open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday — Friday.

Filing for nonpartisan positions begins at 3 p.m.

The deadline to file for elected office is noon March 1 for party filing and 3 p.m. for nonpartisan.

Early voting begins on May 7 for the primary election and Election Day is May 22.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@

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