Two years after election, the momentum continues in Natchez

Published 11:00 am Sunday, July 17, 2022

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Just this past Thursday, while in a meeting at City Hall, I received a text from my friend Brandon McCranie, known to many as local radio personality “GatorMan,” congratulating me on two years since the election. Later in the day when I opened the text, it hit me. Has it really been two years? Where has the time gone?

July 14, 2020, will always live in my memory as a momentous day. I will never forget stepping out of the shower, dripping wet after a long day of last minute campaigning, and receiving the phone call that I had won the election for Mayor. A flood of emotion ran over me immediately – and my heart became full of gratitude.

Today, two years later, my heart remains full. Thank you Natchez.

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That hot Tuesday evening, I hurriedly got dressed and headed to The Bluff. When I arrived, there seemed to be people everywhere. My then girlfriend and now wife, Marla, was busy with volunteers serving up hotdogs in front of the Natchez Grand. Blues Legend YZ Ealey and his full band were lighting up the Bandstand and rocking the crowd to amazing tunes. Citizens of Natchez, as one, were celebrating together, and The Natchez Renewal was born. We celebrated until four in the morning – and then began the work of preparing for our new administration at 8 a.m. the next day!

It has been said that nothing is quite as grueling as a political campaign, but looking back on 2020, the Mayoral campaign lives as a great memory – a time to meet and connect with so many great people, even during the challenges of a national pandemic. And actually, the real work began after the campaign – we haven’t stopped a minute. The opportunities for Natchez are too great, and every day counts. We must make the most of the trust given to us to move our city forward.

I am excited about our 2nd Annual State of the City event, to occur this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the City Auditorium. It will be a time to celebrate all that we as a city have accomplished during the past two years. YZ Ealey will be performing and refreshments will be served, as we discuss goals accomplished and exciting new opportunities ahead. Get ready for some great announcements! Most importantly, we will recommit to working even harder during the next two years to overcome the challenges currently facing our country. Just as we did during the COVID pandemic, we as a city must turn our challenges into opportunities.

Words are inadequate to express my gratitude to Natchez for the blessing of serving as your Mayor. And I am so grateful to an amazing team at City Hall: our Board of Aldermen, our Department Directors, and our many city employees who give so much of themselves to keep our city going – and to keep us safe. I am grateful to Adams County and every member of the Board of Supervisors for their constant support and teamwork, in addition to our many community partners, local, state, and federal… the list is almost overwhelming to mention here.

Most of all, I am thankful to you, the citizens of Natchez. For your support, I am grateful – and dedicated as never before to working even harder for you. Because at the end of the day, ours is that beautiful “shining city on the hill,” and Natchez Deserves More.


Dan Gibson is mayor of Natchez.