Natchez needs non-political mayor

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I am writing to clear up some confusion about the upcoming Natchez city elections. While talking to citizens, I realized there is some confusion about the difference between the upcoming primaries and the general election.

The first primary election will be on May 6. In that primary, a registered voter will choose on which ballot he/she will vote, either Democrat or Republican. There are no contested races in the Republican primary, and no Republican candidate for the mayor’s office. A candidate must receive at least 51 percent of the vote to be his/her party’s nominee for a position on the ballot for the general election on June 3.

In the general election on June 3, my uncle, Chick Graning, is an independent candidate for mayor. He will face the winner of the Democratic primary: either Alderman Jake Middleton or incumbent Mayor Philip West. He will not be on the ballot on May 6. He will be on the ballot on June 3, where he will face either Middleton or West.

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In the general election a voter does not declare a party preference, but votes for the candidate he chooses — regardless of party affiliation or in which primary he has previously voted.

I urge the citizens of Natchez to get out and vote in both the primary and the general elections. The last mayoral election was decided by less than 200 votes. Exercise your right to vote. Please vote in the primary on May 6, and return on June 3 to vote in the general election.

This election is an important one for Natchez. We need a full-time mayor for all citizens. Natchez needs leadership we can respect and trust to carry us through important projects which are impacting our city, our landscape and our quality of life. Maybe we need to elect a citizen who hasn’t been in politics but is willing to offer himself as an independent candidate for mayor, with only the betterment of Natchez as a goal. Please help us elect Chick Graning as mayor on June 3.

Carrie Pugh

Natchez citizen