The New Year has begun, and 2021 brings with it a new political season. This year county voters will have the opportunity to decide leadership at the municipal level. The offices of mayor and aldermen will be up for grabs in both Magee and Mendenhall.
According to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office 2021 election calendar, qualifying for the upcoming elections opened on January 4. This marked the first day that candidates could officially file petitions and qualifying statements to run for the available offices. The qualifying deadline is set to expire on February 5 at 5 p.m. for all municipal offices.
Primary elections will be held on April 6, and primary runoff elections will take place on April 27. General election day will be June 8.
All candidates must meet all established requirements to qualify for office. They must be qualified voters in the State of Mississippi. They must have lived in the district in which they are running for two years preceding the election. This restriction does not apply to municipalities of less than 1,000.
The candidate must not have been convicted of a felony, to include bribery, perjury, or any felony with a minimum of one year in confinement unless pardoned for the offense.
The candidate must never have been convicted of a felony in state or federal court excluding manslaughter or a violation of Internal Revenue Service or tax laws of the state, unless the misuse or abuse occurred while seeking office.
According to the Secretary of State’s Qualification Guidelines, individuals who choose to participate in a primary election and qualify as a political party candidate must submit to the municipal clerk’s office a qualifying statement of intent for a candidate for party nomination. Political party candidates must also pay a qualifying fee of $10. The municipal clerk will forward the statement of intent and the filing fee to the proper political party’s municipal executive committee.
Independent candidates who choose to participate in the general election only, without any political party affiliation, must submit to the Municipal Clerk’s Office a “Qualifying Statement of Intent for an Independent Candidate,” together with a Qualifying Petition. The qualifying petition must be signed by at least 50 registered voters of the municipality or ward from which the candidate seeks office, if the ward or municipality has a population of 1,000 residents or more. If the ward or municipality has a population of less than 1,000 then the qualifying petition must be signed by at least 15 registered voters. Independent candidates are not required to pay a qualifying fee.
Qualifying packages have been made available for all potential candidates at Mendenhall City Hall and Magee City Hall by the city clerks.
As of press time, In Magee only incumbent Mayor Dale Berry has qualified for the office of Mayor. Ruth Ellington has qualified to run for the Alderwoman of Ward 1 position. The current Magee Board of Aldermen consists of Ward 1-Whitney Barnes Baker, Ward 2-Matthew Hickman, Ward 3- Lane Steele, Ward 4- Patrick Brown, and Alderman at Large- Angel McPhail Brister.
No candidates have qualified in Mendenhall thus far. The Mendenhall Mayor and Board of Aldermen currently consists of Mayor Todd Booth, Ward 1-Judy Lee, Ward 2-Robet Mangum, Ward 3- Jana Miller, Ward 4- Sandra Weeks Stein, and Alderman at Large- Tim Gray.
Voters who plan to participate in the upcoming municipal election must be registered to vote in the city at least 30 days priors to Election Day. March 8 is the deadline to register before the primary election and May 10 is the deadline to register before the general election.