No endorsements for county supervisors districts 3 and 4

Published 12:01 am Friday, August 2, 2019

For the last 150 or so years, The Natchez Democrat has worked to inform and help guide this community on important issues — issues our readers have made clear are important to them and issues we think are necessary for the progress of our area.

We agree with Natchez and Adams County residents that a comprehensive recreation complex — and one located on the property known as “the beanfield” — is important to the quality of life here of all residents and would be a tool to further investment, growth and tourism. If you don’t trust us on that, just ask Brookhaven and Vicksburg, each of which invested in such a complex and each of which is reaping its benefits.

Our community deserves leadership that makes the development of a recreation complex here a priority.

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Further, we see the accomplishments of Natchez Now and Natchez Inc. and know those groups are on the right track in their economic development work here. The only way forward is to continue the county’s strong investment in that effort, along with the city’s investment. Doing anything other than supporting the efforts of Natchez Now and Natchez Inc. would be foolish and would take this community in a backward direction. This community is in favor of consolidation of government services and it is an issue this newspaper has championed for years. While we may not agree on the method for accomplishing complete consolidation of government in the city and county, we all agree the two governmental units have a number of ways they can work together right now to save taxpayers dollars and provide services more efficiently. For that to happen, we need to elect supervisors who are willing to work with the city and provide leadership, not simply work to protect the fiefdom they have carved out in their districts.

All residents of Adams County deserve representation and we urge voters to elect supervisor candidates who will represent all citizens, candidates who will work to unite, not further divide this community.

These are the priorities The Natchez Democrat editorial board had in mind when it interviewed candidates who will compete in the Aug. 6 primary.

In the supervisors races in districts three and four, we cannot in good conscience endorse any candidate.

In district three, incumbent Democrat Angela Hutchins faces Democratic challenger Elizabeth Ann Ford Jones in the Aug. 6 primary.

In district four, Democrats Ray Gary McDonald and Rita Bernard Brooks are challenging incumbent Democrat James “Rickey” Gray.

All of the candidates in these two races lacked support for one or more of the issues we think are priorities for Adams County residents. Adams County is your home. It’s our home, too. As voters, we are making critical decisions when we choose our elected representatives and we must insist on leadership that supports the issues most important for the progress of all.

We don’t see that leadership coming from any of the primary candidates for supervisor in districts three or four. We hope the general election in November will prove to provide a better choice for voters.