Beauman, Mayfield only aldermen candidates|Leyens, seeking third term, will face four challengers

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 7, 2009

Two-thirds of the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen will return for another four years, as neither incumbent picked up opposition for this year’s election cycle.

North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield and South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman filed qualifying paperwork Friday, the final day to do so for municipal elections statewide.

Mayfield, 51, a Democrat, will enter a second term in municipal office after representing District 2 on the Warren County Board of Supervisors for 10 years. Beauman, 61, a Republican, will enter a third term in elected office with the city. Both men will appear alone on ballots in primary voting May 5. 

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An already crowded race for mayor on the Democratic side remained that way, with Mayor Laurence Leyens as the only qualifier in the final hours of filing.

Leyens, 44, an independent seeking his third term, will face one of four Democratic challengers. The field includes John P. Shorter, 42, a project manager for a defense contractor and head of the Vicksburg chapter of the NAACP; former Warren County Board of Supervisors attorney Paul E. Winfield, 35; local convenience store owner Tommy Wright, 38; and former North Ward Alderman Gertrude Anderson Young, 53.

No candidates claimed the official Republican banner except Beauman. The Democratic runoff for mayor, if necessary, is May 19.

Two qualified for Democratic Executive Committee, Mary R. Galtney and Percy Strothers. The Republican Executive Committee did not have any qualifiers. Unlike the county and state election cycle, municipal clerk’s offices administer party primary elections for city races.

Leyens, who needed signatures of 50 registered city voters, fulfilled that benchmark and has had petitions verified, city clerk Walter Osborne said. In all, 263 signatures appear on his qualifying papers.

Vicksburg voter rolls grew by 429 since the 2005 municipal election cycle, according to the city clerk’s office. Totals show 18,809 voters as of Feb. 27.

Eight of the city’s 11 precincts gained voters, with the most coming in the South Ward precincts at Plumbers & Pipefitters Union and Carpenters Local 303.

The mayor’s post pays $77,000 annually, while the aldermen are paid $61,600. Raises to take effect in 2010 and 2011 will lift the mayor’s pay to $80,850 and the aldermen’s pay to $64,680.


Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at


• Laurence Leyens — I*

• John P. Shorter — D

• Paul E. Winfield — D

• Tommy Wright — D

• Gertrude A.Young — D


• Michael Mayfield — D*

• Sid Beauman — R*



• May 5, Democratic primary

• May 19, Democratic primary runoff, if necessary

• June 2, general election

Polls open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


• To register to vote in the Democratic and Republican primaries: April 4, noon

• To vote absentee in person in the city clerk’s office: April 25

• To have city clerk’s office receive mailed absentee ballots: May 4, 5 p.m.

• To vote absentee in person at the city clerk’s office for the general election: April 30, noon

• To have city clerk’s office receive mailed absentee general election ballots: June 1, 5 p.m.