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Qualifying for Vicksburg elections now set

Four candidates for mayor, one Democrat and three independents, filed their papers in the final hours before qualifying closed for the municipal elections Friday afternoon at 5 p.m.

Former Vicksburg Police Chief and former deputy chief Mitchell Dent filed to face Mayor George Flaggs Jr. and District 2 Warren County Supervisor Charles Selmon in the May 2 Democratic primary for mayor. A runoff, if needed, will be May 16.

Daryl Hollingsworth, Willie Robinson and Jennifer Thomas qualified as independents and will not be on the ballot until the June 6 general election.

The mayor’s salary is $93,450; the aldermen earn $74,550. The mayor and aldermen’s salaries are set by city ordinance and will increase by 5 percent July 1, 2018.

In the races for North and South Ward aldermen, incumbent North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield faces a challenge from two opponents, deputy city clerk John Carroll, and former Vicksburg police officer Troy Kimble. Mayfield and Carroll will face each other in the Democratic primary. Kimble will face the winner in the general election.

Mayfield qualified for re-election Jan. 3, when qualifying opened. Carroll qualified Jan. 13, and Kimble in late February.

In the South Ward, incumbent Willis Thompson is challenged by State Rep. Alex Monsour, who is running as a Republican. Thompson qualified as a Democrat. The two will face each other June 6.

Thompson also filed his papers Jan. 3. Monsour filed Feb. 15.

Flaggs, a former state representative, qualified for re-election Feb. 8, while Selmon, who ran for mayor in 2005, qualified in January.

Hollingsworth, a local contractor and developer who ran for mayor in the 2013 municipal elections, announced his attention to run in late February. He said he was running for the office, “Because I think we can do better. I don’t think we’ve made enough progress in the last four years. We haven’t moved as far forward as I believe we should have.”

Dent, who served as police chief under the administration of Laurence Leyens from 2000 to 2001, and as deputy chief under the Paul Winfield administration from 2010 to 2013, is an ordained minister and said he has been working with his church and traveling and preaching.

He said he had been thinking about running for mayor for several years, “And decided now was the to run.”

Repeated attempts to contact Robinson and Thomas for comments were unsuccessful.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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