The race is on and the ballots are set for the upcoming Stephenville city council election.

Candidates vying for a seat on the council gathered Wednesday for a briefing from city staff and to draw for placement on the ballots during a candidate orientation at city hall.

According to City Secretary Cindy Stafford, 11 of 13 candidates attended the orientation taking part in the drawing to determine the order in which their names would appear on the ballots. Not attending were candidates Virginia Abel and Nancy Hunter.

As the result of a drawing held on Thursday, March 13, the candidates’ names will appear on the ballot for the city’s May 10 General Election in the following order: Mayor - Barry Ratliff, Joe E. Cude, Pat Shelbourne, Mark Murphy and Nancy A. Hunter; City Council, Place 2 - Malcolm Cross; City Council, Place 4 - Chris Gifford, Russ “Rusty” McDanel and Donald Zelman; City Council, Place 6 - Virginia Abel and Alan Nix; City Council, Place 8 - Scott Evans and Sara Boen.

Now that the ordering has been finalized, the city will proceed with the printing of ballots within the next two weeks, said Stafford. Approximately 100 ballots will be ordered, as well as extra sample ballots to be made available to citizens prior to the early voting period.

Stafford reported that many voters are now opting to use the electronic voting machines instead of the

The city secretary also used the opportunity to inform the candidates of the election and campaign sign rules, and important dates in the coming weeks leading to Election Day.

City Administrator Mark Kaiser also brought the candidates up-to-speed on current and ongoing projects under way across the city by providing a status report similar to what city councilors receive at monthly meetings.

“We laid it out for them all to see, providing them with information on the projects and to get them familiarized with what’s going on at city hall,” said Kaiser. “I want them to know what the status is on certain projects and allow them the opportunity to hear the facts at the same time.”