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UPDATE: Tallulah Mayor's Legacy Remembered in Death

Tallulah Mayor Eddie Beckwith has passed away.

UPDATE 9:15 p.m. -- Since 2006, Mayor Eddie Beckwith, Jr. has led the City of Tallulah.
 
He was going for a third consecutive term in the upcoming April election until he passed away at St. Francis Hospital in Monroe on Thursday.

"I was saddened. There's no doubt about that. He's a good friend, liked all of us at city hall," said Tallulah Parks and Recreation Director Carlos Ford.

"He's been down with this sickness for a while, so we've been doing the best that we could to carry on in his absence," Mayor Pro Tem Tommy Watson said.

Beckwith leaves behind a wife and two children, a more than 30-year military career and an 18-year career in state government.
 
City leaders said they will remember the man who brought Tallulah its first housing development in 30 years, led the restoration of city hall and helped bring hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to the city.

"He was over theaters of men and so when it comes down to moving and continuing to move no matter the situation or circumstance, that's what we do," Ford said.

"Everybody knows our mayor. He had his own way of doing things, but one thing that cannot be denied, he always had the best interests of Tallulah at heart," said Watson.

Now, the focus is on the future and with Beckwith's death, the 2014 mayoral electiono has been reopened.

"Qualifying may have to reopen for about three days, giving someone else an opportunity to qualify," said Watson.

The decision will also be made as to who will sit in the mayor's chair until a new one is elected.

"Even maybe myself or one of the council persons, just to fulfill out the rest of this term," Watson said.

Though city leaders mourn the loss of the mayor, they said they will not let tragedy halt the progress he helped bring.

Beckwith's exact cause of death has not been released.

Qualifying for the mayor's seat in Tallulah opens again on Friday and runs through next Tuesday.
 
The Louisiana Secretary of State's Office said if no one else qualifies, Election Day will remain April 5th.
 
If someone does qualify, the election will be postponed until May 3rd.


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TALLULAH, LA - Tallulah Mayor Eddie Beckwith has died.

Just last month, he qualified to run for a third term in office.  The Tallulah native told KTVE 10 News that this would probably be his last term if re-elected. 

Beckwith had a 35 year military background with various awards and decorations.  He also spent 18 years in state government.  Mayor Beckwith is survived by his wife and two chidlren.  Thursday night's city council meeting has been canceled.

According to Tallulah Mayor Pro Tem Tommy Watson, the death of Mayor Beckwith will reopen the election for qualifying until Tuesday.

The Louisiana Secretary of State's Office said if no one qualifies in that time, the mayoral election will go on as planned on April 5th. If someone does qualify, the election will be delayed until May 3rd.

The office also said any votes cast for Beckwith will not be counted. If Beckwith was the top vote getter, the second top vote getter will be the winner.

In the meantime, Watson said the Tallulah City Council will meet over the next several days to appoint an interim mayor until a new one is elected. Watson said the interim will either be himself or a council member.

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