History won’t be made just by demographics

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 31, 2004

Natchez voters will make history on June 8 when they elect the first female mayor, the first black mayor or the first independent mayor.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s hope the candidate who wins makes history &045;&045; not by virtue of race or gender or political affiliation, but by what he or she does in office and what he or she accomplishes for our community.

Conventional wisdom would have us believe this election will be summed up easily: Who gets out the vote wins. Some people don’t believe a black man can be elected mayor of Natchez &045;&045; and some people don’t believe a Republican woman can be elected mayor of Natchez.

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Such thinking makes it so easy to believe we could become the clich/ everyone outside Mississippi believes towns like ours to be.

But politics isn’t quite that simple in Natchez.

To believe that this election, for some voters, is about anything other than race is to be na•ve.

But to believe that this election, for many voters, is about anything other than jobs, leadership and vision is to sell Natchez short.

Each of these candidates loves Natchez and wants what he or she believes is best for the community.

To accomplish those things, whoever is elected will need the support of the community &045;&045; and will need to be held accountable by the community as well.

Natchez will live or die by our involvement or our apathy, and that only begins with casting a vote on June 8. After that we have to stay involved, becoming partners with the leaders we elect and holding them to high standards.

We are guaranteed to make history this election day. What we make after that is up to all of us.