Former mayor Phillip West qualifies, may run for governor

Published 11:54 pm Monday, March 4, 2019


NATCHEZ — Former Natchez Mayor Phillip West joined a long list of locals last week who have qualified to run for state office.

West qualified to run for Mississippi governor. Whether he will run for the position, however, remains to be seen, West said Monday.

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“I have qualified to run for governor,” West said. “But I have not definitively decided to run.”

West said he will make a final decision as to whether he will pursue the governor’s office in “a couple weeks to a month.”

West said he submitted his paperwork Friday, the last day of qualifying. Qualifying leaves his options open, in the event that he decides to join the race.

Saying it is too early to talk about his thoughts about running for governor, West said the idea is something he has considered before.

“I have contemplated (running for governor) from time to time, but haven’t made a final decision,” West said.

West is a current member of the Natchez-Adams School Board. In addition to being a former Natchez mayor, West was also elected to the Adams County Board of Supervisors from 1980-1997 and as State Representative to the Mississippi House from 1997-2004.

Other local residents qualified for statewide offices in this year’s election primaries include:

Mississippi Senate

In District 37 for the Mississippi Senate, William Godfrey from Natchez is the only Democrat to qualify. Incumbent Sen. Bob Dearing decided not to run for re-election.

Five candidates have qualified for the Republican Party primary  for the District 37 Senate seat. Melanie Sojourner from Natchez, Milt Burris from Smithdale, Kevin Wells from Summit, Morgan Halford Poore from Meadville and Scott Carnegie from Smithdale have qualified.

In District 38 for the Mississippi Senate, former Sen. Kelvin Butler will face incumbent Tammy Witherspoon in the Democratic Party primary. No Republicans qualified to run in District 38.

Mississippi House

In District 94 for the Mississippi House, incumbent Robert Johnson is the only Democrat to qualify. He will run unopposed after no Republican candidate qualified for the seat.

In District 96 for the Mississippi House, Aisha A. Sanders, A Democrat from Natchez, will face incumbent Angela Cockerham who is running as an independent candidate.

In District 97 for the Mississippi House, incumbent Sam Mims, a Republican from McComb, will face Democrat Ben Thompson from Summit.

District Attorney

In Circuit Court District 6, incumbent Ronnie Harper from Natchez will face Shameca Collins, also from Natchez, in the Democratic Party primary for District Attorney. No Republicans qualified for District Attorney in District 6.