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Gibson gets our pick in difficult decision

The good news for voters in the City of Natchez is the two candidates for mayor in the Democratic primary Tuesday each would serve the city well.

Both are talented and skilled, both accomplished in their respective fields and have a sincere desire to lead Natchez into a period of rebirth and reinvention.

Both want to use their many contacts in the business community and within the state and federal government to help recruit jobs to Natchez.

Both want to find a way to create a workforce-training center to prepare the young people of Natchez for worthwhile careers.

The problem is Natchez is so divided — racially, economically and politically.  That’s nothing new here, has been a problem in recent years, though it has not always been the case.

For that reason, The Democrat endorses a relative newcomer, Dan Gibson, for the job as the next mayor of Natchez.

Natchez needs new ideas and new perspective. We need the leadership of someone who has broad legislative and municipal government experience. We need the skills of someone who has experience forming broad bipartisan coalitions. We need the insight of someone who has operated businesses successfully.

Dan Gibson has that experience and perspective. He has been part of progress in other communities, has witnessed projects come together from infancy to completion. He understands how to successfully seek federal and state government funding. Natchez, which at one time enjoyed favor among the state’s legislature, certainly does not today. For years, we have not been able to garner support for even the simplest of legislation. The Natchez area suffers from a lack of state and federal funding. We haven’t received our fair share of state funding since Butch Brown was MDOT director.

We think Dan Gibson is the person most likely to help bridge the divide in Natchez — between residents, the business community and city and county government.

Natchez must come together. We are suffering the consequences of our division. Real progress will be accomplished here when we are able to work for the benefit of all of us, not just the benefit of one race or political party or ideology.

There’s room for all of us at the table, and we think Dan Gibson will be the most successful in the effort to lead and bring us all together.

We urge Natchez voters to vote for Gibson for Natchez mayor on June 2.