Boundaries for the upcoming county elections will be the same as they were four years ago.
The issue has been the source of much contention, particularly in District 4, where a candidate has complained that the Board of Supervisors did not meet the required deadline to change the district lines.
The Board of Supervisors sought an Attorney General’s opinion, and the Attorney General agreed that the county missed the deadline.
Although board attorney Jay Barbour disagreed with the Attorney General’s opinion, the Board of Supervisors decided Friday to hold the elections under the old lines.
District 4 Supervisor Jayne Dew said she hopes the decision to continue with the previous district lines will end the confusion about the issue.
“If there’s any doubt whatsoever, I’d rather not take any chances,” Dew said.
Dew said some have suggested that the redistricting was done to give her an advantage in the election, but she insisted that isn’t true.
“We never wanted the change to start with,” Dew said. “I was happy with the old lines.”
Dew said that the county is required by law to maintain a balance of population between the districts. She said the redistricting was the county’s effort to follow the law with guidance from the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District.
“Hopefully this ends any confusion or controversy, and we can focus on the most important issues affecting our county,” Dew said.
Barbour said he disagrees with the Attorney General’s opinion, and he does not believe the attorney general has the authority to decide the issue.
“I continue to believe that the Supervisors followed proper procedure in adopting the new lines,” Barbour said. “And even if the Attorney General’s opinion was correct, the Supervisors are not required to follow it because it is neither a court order nor any other binding legal authority. For all of these reasons, I advised the Supervisors that they should not follow the Attorney General’s opinion and should instead conduct the upcoming elections under the new lines. But Supervisor Dew disagreed and argued that even if the opinion is wrong, the Supervisors should run under the old lines so that no one can try to say that the Supervisors did not follow the law in conducting the elections. Each Supervisor agreed with Supervisor Dew, and the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to conduct the upcoming elections under the old lines.”
Justice Court candidate
withdraws from race
In other local election-related news, Jaslyn Snow has dropped out of the race for justice court judge.
The race now includes incumbent Bennie “Kay” Warrington, who is running as an independent, and challenger Danny Neely, who is running as a Democrat.