UPDATE: Beckwith's Son Appointed As Interim Mayor of Tallulah

TALLULAH -- At their Thursday night meeting, the Tallulah City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Michael Beckwith, the son of the late Mayor Eddie Beckwith, Jr., to serve as the interim Tallulah Mayor.

"It's like the Bible. We're still about my father's business, so it's just a transition from one scene to the next," Michael Beckwith told KTVE/KARD following his swearing in.

Eddie Beckwith, Jr. was running for a third consecutive term before passing away from an illness on March 27 in Monroe.

His death reopened the qualifying period for the election, postponing the election from April 5th to May 3rd.

According to state law, when a mayor dies prior to the completion of their term, the governing body of the city must appoint a new mayor within 20 days of their death.

At their meeting Thursday night, the council declared the mayor's office empty and appointed Beckwith to finish his father's unexpired term, which ends on June 30th.

It was a council member who approached Beckwith, asking him to fill the seat.

"We have never had a mayor that I know of, and I'm 65-years-old, to die while sitting in this seat and that would be an honor to his father, to let him have the seat," said District 5 council member Gloria Hayden.

Before, Beckwith was employed as Undertaker at the Beckwith Family-owned Golden Gate Funeral Home in Tallulah.

"I'm not a politician. That's my dad," Beckwith said. "I'm a born mortician. I'm an undertaker from the heart, but I would do anything for my father because he was so intrumental in my life."

The council said they sought an opinion from State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell earlier this month to find out if Beckwith could assume the title of interim mayor, which the council received back on Thursday.

"A child or the widow of the deceased mayor may be appointed to fill the vacancy in the mayor's office, provided the appointee is qualified for the office," Tallulah City Attorney Raymond Cannon read, relaying Caldwell's opinion to the council at the meeting.

Beckwith said he's ready to give the city his full attention during his less-than-two-month term.

"Eddie Beckwith, being my father, and also being my man, we traveled many places together, spent a lot of time. We're going to stay on the right track," he said.

Though his term will only run until the end of June, Beckwith said he's ready to finish what his father started.

Beckwith assumes all roles and responsibilities of mayor immediately, but he is not running for mayor in the May 3rd election.

After June 30th, whoever wins the May 3rd election will become the next mayor of Tallulah.

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