Ex-supervisor, newbie bid for District 4 county seat|[01/25/07]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 25, 2007

A race for Warren County supervisor in District 4 that was expected to be hot got hotter Wednesday, with former Supervisor Bill Lauderdale Jr. and Clifton &#8220Buddy” Hardy Jr. both filing.

They join one-term incumbent Carl Flanders, who defeated Lauderdale four years ago, on the district’s ballot so far.

Lauderdale, 59, represented the southeast Warren County district from 1988 until losing to Flanders, then a middle school teacher.

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Lauderdale, whose filing confirmed previous public statements, said he &#8220can do a better job” than Flanders, because of his experience on the county governing board.

Flanders, 37, qualified last week. He has tried to reshape county government in both personnel and organizational structure. Lauderdale was more closely aligned with board veterans Richard George of District 5 and David McDonald of District 1, who have frequently dissented from Flanders’ initiatives.

Lauderdale, after losing his county seat by 189 votes, was hired by the Mississippi Tax Commission. Also on the 2003 ballot were independent Reginald King and Republican Charles Stevens, who combined for 27 percent of the vote.

Flanders and Lauderdale both filed as independents, meaning their names will not be on any ballot until the Nov. 6 general election.

Hardy, 71, is a retired vice president of Mississippi Materials Corp. He filed as a Republican, he said, because he &#8220didn’t like what was going on” with the current board and ran to provide change.

&#8220I just felt like there was a need for me to run,” said Hardy, who was also president of the Vicksburg-Warren Chamber of Commerce for a time in the 1970s.

Hardy will appear on primary ballots Aug. 7, setting up a three-way race in the general election if no other candidates file before the March 1 deadline for all state and county offices up for election this year. General elections are winner-take-all events with top vote-getters winning four-year terms.

District 4’s municipal areas extend north to Interstate 20 and include areas just south of Pemberton Square Boulevard and west of Bazinsky Road. Its eastern boundary is the corridor where Halls Ferry turns to Fisher Ferry, then to Ross Road.

District 4 also includes Davis Island, a rich timber-growing area on the western side of the Mississippi River.

In addition to Flanders, the four other supervisors have also filed to seek new terms. Two, William Banks in District 2 and Charles Selmon in District 3, have challengers. They are Tommie Rawlings and James Stirgus Jr., respectively.