Pressgrove drops from race

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, March 25, 2008

NATCHEZ — Ward 5 alderman candidate Andy Pressgrove has withdrawn from the race due to a conflict of interest.

The sales representative for Hanson Pipe and Precast withdrew because his company sells to the city.

While Pressgrove himself does not, he receives a year-end bonus that is based on the company’s performance.

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City Clerk Donnie Holloway said Pressgrove approached him last week to determine whether he would be able to run for office.

“We got an unqualified opinion from the (Mississippi) Ethics Commision,” Holloway said.

The advisory opinion given by the ethics commission stated that it would be a conflict of interest for him to run for an elected city position.

Though Holloway said it wouldn’t be illegal for Pressgrove to hold a position, the company could no longer be a vendor to the city.

Pressgrove said he had to choose between his job and running for alderman.

“I would have liked to been alderman of this district, but it’s just not going to happen,” Pressgrove said.

He said he’s disappointed that he’s not going to be able to help make a difference in the city.

Holloway said with each city election, one or two people may withdraw from the race, but not in large numbers.

Ward 5 now has only three contenders— Charles Zuccarro, Republican; Frances Thompson Bailey and Mark Fortenbery, both Democrats.