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Alex Monsour qualifies as city candidate

The Warren County Republican Executive Committee has qualified Alex Monsour as a candidate for the South Ward alderman’s seat.

Its decision follows a challenge filed by South Ward Alderman Willis Thompson claiming Monsour failed to meet the residency requirements to qualify as a candidate for the seat.

According to the committee’s report, Monsour met the residency requirements that he lived in the state, county and city 30 days before the election, and the residency was verified by leases and utility bills.

He is a registered voter in the city, and met the requirements necessary to run in the Republican primary for the seat.

Monsour, the state representative for District 54, is unopposed in the primary. Thompson, a Democrat, is also unopposed.

The committee’s report will be reviewed by the city’s election commission, which will also render a decision on Monsour’s qualifications.

Commission chairman Clyde Redmon said no hearing has been set, pending receipt of a copy of the report from the Republican Executive Committee.

“Statutorily, I’m qualified. I knew I was because I checked the statutes before I qualified; it’s unfortunate that it got to this,” Monsour said. “I’m looking forward now to doing some serious campaigning on the issues that affect families in Vicksburg. I’m ready to get started.”

Thompson said he wanted to wait for the election commission’s decision.

“My whole contention is that he doesn’t live in the city, and he needs to prove that he does,” he said. “I think the election commission will dig a little deeper and request a little more data from him. They (the executive committee) did respond in a timely manner, but I just think the election commission will a more in in depth investigation and require more of him.”

Thompson filed his objection Monday at the city clerk’s office.

According to the complaint, Monsour in January 2016 listed an address of 109 Plantation Drive, which is in the county, and voted at the Culkin precinct in the 2016 presidential election.

On Feb. 1, he transferred his utilities to 3550 Porters Chapel Road, which Thompson said is in House District 55, and changed his voter registration to that address.

March 3, the final day of qualifying, Monsour filed amended qualifying papers showing an address of 4223 I-20 Frontage Road, which is an apartment complex in the South Ward and in District 55.

Thompson questioned whether Monsour lived at the home at 3550 Porters Chapel Road, which according to county tax records was owned by a woman who died in September 2016.

“I doubt there is a lease agreement (on the house),” Thompson wrote in the petition.

“I often patrol the area and the property appeared to be abandoned for some time. I also doubt Mr. Monsour ever resided at this address. … This property was not likely used as his residence, because it is in District 55. Mr. Monsour represents District 54.

“I doubt Mr. Monsour is able to prove his residence in the city for the required amount of time.”

Monsour said the house at 3550 Porters Chapel is his permanent address and is in House District 54.

He said he was living at the apartment complex because the house was being repaired.

“It’s just temporary until they get through. I had to relocate temporarily.”

He said the house is now owned by Porter’s Chapel School, which bought the property, and he has a lease with an option to purchase the house.

 

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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