4th candidate in running for school board seat

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 22, 2004

[9/22/04]A fourth candidate has filed to represent District 1 on the Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees.

Also, a forum for candidates for local and district offices has been scheduled for Oct. 1.

Shawn McKeever, 33, a senior reactor operator and shift supervisor at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station, is the latest to turn in qualifying papers for the school board seat, District 1 Election Commissioner Johnny Brewer said.

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McKeever joins roofing contractor Jerry Boland, 45, Ergon director of system engineering Steven Elwart, 51, and former Vicksburg High School secretary Brenda Theriot, 52.

The District 5 school board trustee seat will also be on Nov. 2 ballots. Both seats became vacant through resignations this year. The districts are along the same lines as those for supervisors and election commissioners, but terms are six years and staggered.

The lone candidate in District 5 is Joanne Gibbs. Signatures from her petition were also being verified Tuesday, Brewer said.

All election-commission seats are also up for voting this year, and the deadline to file candidate-qualifying papers has passed.

The District 3 seat is being sought by two candidates, retired nurse and longtime pollworker Lurline Green, 57, and hairstylist Patricia Reed, 25. The seat has been held by LaShondra Stewart, who are not running again.

The incumbents in each of the county’s other four supervisor districts except District 4 is running unopposed.

No one filed to run for the District 4 seat that was vacated on the death of James McMullin and is being filled on an interim basis by appointee and former District 4 supervisor Bill Lauderdale. The seat is to be declared vacant after Jan. 1.

Oct. 1 is the last day for prospective school-board candidates to file qualifying papers and the last day to register to vote here in the Nov. 2 general election. All qualifying papers and voter-registration forms must be received by the Warren County Circuit Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m. that day.

The first announced public forum for candidates is being organized by the Vicksburg chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. alumnae, Blacks in Government and the NAACP and will begin at 4 p.m. at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Bolton, and his Republican challenger, Clinton B. LeSueur of Greenville, and candidates for school board and election commission offices are scheduled to attend, said event organizer and North Ward Alderman Gertrude Young.

LeSueur has said he has invited Thompson to participate in debates with him but that Thompson has declined.

“I had high hopes that we would debate the issues at least twice, once in the Jackson area and once in the Delta,” LeSueur said in an e-mail to state media. “But according to a television interview, the congressman said he doesn’t have time.” A spokesman for Thompson was not available.

Also up for election this year are two seats on the state Supreme Court for the district that includes Warren County.

In one, Justice James E. Graves Jr. is being challenged by Ceola James of Vicksburg, a former Greenville-based chancellor; Samac S. Richardson, 57, a circuit-court judge for Madison and Rankin counties; and William L. Skinner, 45, a former Hinds County Justice Court judge and Jackson Police Department officer.

In the other, Justice William L. Waller, 52, is challenged by Byram attorney “Richard” Ray Grindstaff, 43.

Registration of new voters for the November election, including the presidential contest, continues in the Warren County Circuit Clerk’s Office from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily through Oct. 1, the deadline.

To receive absentee voters, the office will be open from 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Oct. 23, and on the Oct. 30 deadline, Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley-Palmertree said.

To request an absentee ballot by mail, people may send a request to the office at P.O. Box 351, Vicksburg, MS 39181, or phone 636-3961. All absentee ballots received by mail must be returned by mail and they must be received in the office by 5 p.m. on Nov. 1. In some cases, absentee ballots submitted by mail must be notarized.

The county’s voter roll, which has about 33,000 names, is to be finalized at 5 p.m. on Oct. 1. The clerk’s office has been seeing heavy new-voter registration but names had also been being purged from the list, Ashley-Palmertree said.

Campaign-finance reports are due to the Secretary of State’s Office from judicial candidates on Oct. 8. Reports from all candidates, with candidates for county offices filing 0with circuit clerk’s offices and those running for Supreme Court justice and U.S. Congress with the Secretary of State’s Office, are due Oct. 26.