More candidates need to step up to the plate

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 17, 2004

With a few weeks to go before qualifying for Natchez elections ends, the races haven’t become too heated so far.

Two people have officially thrown their hats in the ring for mayor &045; and the same number have said they won’t be running. Incumbent Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith has said he will run again, while Fred Middleton and Mike Thompson have turned in their qualifying papers.

Meanwhile, city aldermen &045; who may or may not make it to the ballot this time around &045; have seen a little more activity, although some incumbents have not yet qualified for re-election.

Email newsletter signup

Because the U.S. Justice Department asked for more information about the city’s redistricting plans &045; a request seldom made of aldermen &045; there may not be enough time for the federal officials to approve the plan before time for the election.

A delay would be unfortunate for a variety of reasons &045; not the least of which is the breakdown in services to the voting public.

But we hope the possibility of a delay does not prevent more people from qualifying for office, sooner rather than later.

Perhaps there are some tactical reasons for some candidates to wait until the last minute, but voters need to know &045; and potential candidates need to know &045; who is going to put themselves out there and run.

Democracy works best when we have a variety of qualified people to choose from in an election.

Let’s hope we have more than a few races &045; and more than a few candidates &045; on the ballot in May.