Friday, February 29, 2008

Election News Flash!

Gwen Ball has filed as a Democrat to run for Alderwoman in Ward 3, currently represented by Republican Bob Pollard. If you read this blog, you know that Gwen and I are friends, so I can't pretend to be unbiased, but I truly believe this is really great news for our City.

Imagine an smart, knowledgable Alderwoman who believes in citizen involvement, integrity of the governmental process, making decisions based on facts and research, and debating issues and voting in full view of the public. And further imagine that Alderwoman is courageous and is willing to stand up and fight for what is right, but at the same time is personable, friendly, charming, and reasonable. How refreshing! That's just exactly what Natchez needs on the Board.

That Alderwoman is Gwen Ball, but you don't have to take my word for it. Her actions speak for her. She willingly attended all those long, boring, and aggravating Board of Aldermen meetings. She spent untold hours researching the issues and presented informed arguments to the Board, that just fell on deaf ears. And when she watched in frustration as they continued to perform illegal and unethical acts, she took them to court. And now, she's taking the next logical step by offering herself to the citizens of Ward 3 as their representative to the City government.

I'm sure you'll agree that Natchez needs Gwen Ball on the Board of Aldermen.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

City Election Buzz

It's no big surprise that Phillip West has filed for reelection for Mayor as a Democrat. But there was a surprise filing today - Chick Graning has filed as an Independent. Everybody loves Chick, and he's a really nice guy. However, nice guys and politics usually don't mix, so it remains to be seen how this turns out. But it certainly does make the election more interesting.

This also presents a predicament for Jake Middleton, who hasn't filed yet. He could file as an Independent, which had been rumored. However, that would result in a three way race - Graning, Middleton, West. In that scenario, West wins. Or as is likely, Middleton could run as a Democrat in a head to head race with West. Middleton has more of a chance there, but West is still the favorite in a Democratic Primary. Then the winner of the Primary takes on Graning, and that could be close.

City Clerk Donnie Holloway and Municipal Judge Jim Blough have no opponents so far, and probably won't have any.

The Alderwoman for Ward 1, Democrat Joyce Arceneaux Mathis, has four Democratic opponents. Paul Johnson, the current Fire Chief, is one, and he should be a strong candidate. Jim Sanders is another, and he'll run a good race, too. Jim is very active in the community, and he almost always attends the meetings of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. It amazes me the number of City candidates who have never attended a meeting, but still think they'll be able to do a good job. The other candidate is Sonya Anderson Mars, about whom I know nothing. Perhaps a commenter could enlighten me. This is my Ward, and I can assure you I will not be voting for the incumbent.

I can't imagine anyone beating Democratic Alderman Ricky Gray in Ward 2, but there are two other Democrats who will be trying: Johnny Franklin and Larry Hooper Jr.

The only person who has filed in Ward 3 is Republican incumbent Bob Pollard, but I feel sure there will be a Democrat who files.

Ward 4 should be a very interesting race. Democratic incumbent Bubber West has filed for reelection, but two other Democratic candidates have also filed. Tony Fields is a very impressive young man who'll give Bubber a run for his money. I'm not familiar with Donnell Newsome, the other candidate.

The incumbent in Ward 5, David Massey, has not filed for reelection, as expected. The only person filed is Democrat Mark Fortenberry.

Ward 6 will not have an incumbent either, as Middleton is running for Mayor. There are two declared candidated, both Democrats: Dan Dillard and Forrest Foster.

Of course, there's still time for more candidates. The filing deadline isn't until next Friday, March 7.
What do you know about all these candidates?

Friday, February 08, 2008

2008 Election Info for Natchez

Natchez is about to have an election that will determine the direction of our City for the next four years. I hope you will not only vote, but take time to learn about the candidates. Mixed in with that are our Party Primaries for President and Congress. Finally, we will have a General Election in November to vote for a new President, a new US Senator, and a new US Representative; and our only incumbent, Senator Cochran, is up for reelection.

Here are some key dates to remember:
  • February 9 (tomorrow) at noon is the final day to register for the City elections, as well as the National Primary Election.
  • March 7 is the filing deadline for candidates for City office. That's when we'll know for sure who's running.
  • March 11 is the national Primary Election. In Mississippi, we do not register by party, so everyone can choose whether to vote in the Democratic or the Republican Primary. Since the Republican nominee for President is going to be McCain, you might think everyone would vote in the Democratic Primary, where for the first time in a long time, Mississippi's votes will actually matter. However, we have a hotly contested Republican Primary for Congress, so I imagine many will vote in the Republican Primary.
  • May 6 is the day many of us have been waiting for - the Primary Election for Mayor, Alderpersons, and other City offices.
  • May 20 is the City Runoff Election, if we need one.
  • June 3 is the City General Election.
  • November 4 is the National General Election

When voting in City Elections, you need to know what Ward you live in and vote in. I have drawn a map which I hope will help you. (NOTE: You can zoom in on this map if you need to.)

For City Elections, You may not vote in the same place you normally do. Here is a list of voting places for each Ward.

  1. Council Chambers, South Pearl Street
  2. Frazier Primary School, G F West Boulevard
  3. Elks Lodge #553, Lower Woodville Road
  4. United Rubber Workers Union Hall Local 303, Gayosa Avenue
  5. National Guard Armory, Liberty Road
  6. Duncan Park Canteen

As you might imagine, I'll have more to say about these elections in the future, and I'm sure you'll have comments.

PS I've added a link to this article in the column to the right under Links, in case you want to refer back to it.