Candidate’s district still unconfirmed

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 9, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Mike Lazarus signed up to run for county supervisor in District 1.

About 500 printed campaign T-shirts, more than two dozens signs and $3,000 to $4,000 in campaign expenditures later, Lazarus said he is still waiting to see which district he is actually located in &045; District 1 or District 2.

When Lazarus qualified, he was told by the Circuit Clerk’s Office that he was registered to vote in District 1. But two weeks after the March 1 election qualifying deadline, Lazarus was called with some bad news.

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&uot;Binkey (Vines, the circuit clerk) called and said, ‘Mike, they’re saying you’re in District 2,’ &uot; said Lazarus, who lives on Lazarus Estates Road.

County Engineer Jim Marlow visited Lazarus’ home and said it was in district one. That was on a Friday, Lazarus said. But the following Monday, Marlow called after a conference with mapping surveyor Bill Rigsby to say Lazarus was actually in District 2.

Lazarus said Marlow referred him to Board of Supervisors Attorney Marion Smith, who in turn referred him to the Election Commission. &uot;I talked with (Commissioner) Larry Gardner, and he said it looked like it was in District 2,&uot; Lazarus said. &uot;But I need to know for sure. That was three or four weeks ago.

&uot;If nothing else, I just need to know if I’m campaigning in the right place,&uot; said Lazarus, whose signs and shirts all say &uot;District 1.&uot; &uot;I don’t want to run in District 2. I have a lot of friends running there.&uot;

Lazarus’ residence on Lazarus Estates Road had been logged three years ago as being in District 1, and that’s the district in which he qualified to run for office.

Lazarus said he turned this week to Deputy Circuit Clerk Marjorie Alexander, asking her to contact the Secretary of State’s Office to clear up the question.

Alexander, who confirmed that Lazarus is registered to vote in District 1, said she had not heard back from that office as of Wednesday afternoon.

But Gardner said Wednesday that he and Rigsby went to Lazarus’ property two weeks ago, got its latitude and longitude and determined that it is, in fact, in District 2.

&uot;His house is only about 500 feet south of the (District 1-District 2) line,&uot; Gardner said.

&uot;I still haven’t heard from Gardner, and I still haven’t received anything in writing,&uot; Lazarus said. &uot;I guess now I’ll see what I need to do to legally get in District 1. When we know something officially, we’ll know what to do.&uot;