Congrats to Ford and Easterling; make plans now to vote Nov. 28

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Congratulations to Kevin Ford and Dr. Randy Easterling, who will meet in a runoff on Nov. 28 in their bid to fill the unexpired term of former state Rep. Alex Monsour.

Monsour resigned his state representative position last summer after being elected to Vicksburg’s South Ward alderman seat on the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Congratulations, too, to Joe Bonelli, who ran a close third for the District 54 state representative’s position.

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Bonelli finished with 763 votes, only 74 behind Easterling’s 837. And Easterling finished only 86 votes behind Kevin Ford’s 923.

It was a close race, and the runoff is anyone’s to claim at this point.

Close races are good to see, but once again, voter turnout was lacking.

The District 54 seat takes in parts of Warren County, Issaquena County and Yazoo County. Turnout in Warren County was 20.36 percent of eligible voters. In Issaquena, it was 22.7 percent. In Yazoo County, voter turnout was really too small to measure.

State Representative is an important position. Consider all of the issues our state legislature is facing — state revenue is expected to be down $1.5 million for our next budget year; infrastructure around the state is crumbling; many school districts are in chaos and few are happy with the state education department and its approach to testing; health care for many Mississippians is in jeopardy. Mississippi has arguably the weakest animal abuse laws in the nation and no legislator seems willing to stand up to the lobbyists of Farm Bureau. We could go on.

If you think about it, the person who we send to represent us in the state legislature is pivotal. We should make certain the person we send to Jackson is someone who shares our values and can be trusted to put our needs first, rather than someone who will fall in rank and file behind corporate lobbyists. Those things should motivate every resident of District 54 to go to the polls on Nov. 28 and cast a ballot. Research the two candidates. Determine where they stand on positions that are important for you. Then, please vote.