Democratic process is working in city

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 17, 2004

It may have been too close to call Tuesday night, but the Natchez mayor’s race has showed us, again, that the democratic process works.

In unofficial results, just 100 votes separate Phillip West &045; the leader &045; and Sue Stedman.

Stedman was not yet ready to concede the race Tuesday night, but West and his supporters were already celebrating at his campaign headquarters. Either will make history, with West the first black to hold the office since Reconstruction and Stedman the first woman ever.

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With the close results, though,we can safely say voters think both candidates are highly qualified to take on the mayor’s office.

And the 61 percent voter turnout &045; while not quite as high as one might hope &045; certainly shows the interest in this race.

No matter who is declared the winner, we hope that the interest shown in this campaign spills over into interest in the work Natchez must do to get back on track.

The issues that have been raised during the election process &045; jobs, economic development, infrastructure needs, recreation &045; will not go away anytime soon.

We need real action on these issues, and we believe the mayor &045; whether it is West or Stedman &045; together with the board of aldermen can work to bring progress.

But they will need our help, as well. We all need to unite behind our new mayor and work to become a stronger Natchez.

The democratic process is working in our city.

And now we need to make sure that all of us continue working toward a better future for our community.