Municipalities across Mississippi held primary elections on Tuesday, beginning the process of filling seats for mayor, city council/ aldermen and, in some cases, police chief.
Daily Journal reporters Caleb Bedillion and William Moore (6:03) join Brad and Chris on today’s episode to break down the election results from Tupelo and Lee County.
In Tupelo, Mayor Jason Shelton easily defeated Candice Knowles to win re-election to four more years in office. The two met in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, but there are no Republican candidates in the race.
Both incumbents also advanced in city council races. Lynn Bryan won the Republican primary for Ward 2 and will serve another term since there are no Democrats on the ballot. Nettie Davis advances to the general election in Ward 4 and will face Henry Daniels in June. In that general election, Tupelo also will have contested races in wards 3, 5 and 6.
Caleb also discusses the dynamic between the mayor and city council and how the candidates are almost running together as a team package.
Meanwhile, incumbent mayors won in Saltillo and Nettleton, and the Baldwyn mayor advanced to the general election. Aldermen did not fare as well across Lee County, however, and several incumbents lost their seats on Tuesday. The Baldwyn police chief was easily re-elected, while the Nettleton police chief race heads to a run-off.
We’re also joined by Daily Journal Capitol Bureau chief Bobby Harrison (20:25) , who discusses the upcoming special session of the Mississippi Legislature.
Gov. Phil Bryant has called the session for June 5, but has not yet announced what issues it will address. At the very least, lawmakers will take up budget bills for the office of Attorney General Jim Hood, for the state transportation department and for the state Aid Road Program.
Meanwhile, some lawmakers are calling for him to also add other items, such as a lottery, bond bill or internet tax in order to provide more money for infrastructure needs. And others wonder if Bryant will include the school funding formula.
Bobby also talks about the issue of the lottery and what kind of impact it may have if it was enacted.
Education reporter Emma Kent (27:29) joins us to talk about the push for schools to add technology to meet testing needs, as well as the new president at Itawamba Community College.
Last year, the Mississippi Assessment Program, or the state test, was administered completely online for the first time, and some districts have had to make technology adjustments this year based on their experiences. Many districts are adding more devices and expanding their wireless network capabilities in order to keep up with the testing demands.
Also, Itawamba Community College announced on Wednesday it hired Jay Allen to be its next president. Allen will replace current president Mike Eaton, who announced his retirement in February. He is currently president and CEO of Hopkinsville Community College in Kentucky and also has held leadership positions at Hinds Community College and at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College-Perkinston.