Thomas qualifies for re-election, another Smith ponders mayoral bid
By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
Veteran Meridian City Councilman Dr. George Thomas is the only elected official in Meridian to have already qualified to run for re-election, according to city records.
Thomas, the elder statesman on the council, has served as Ward 1 councilman for last 16 years. He qualified to run as a Republican.
Thomas said he believed Meridian was on the threshold of bigger things in the next four years and he wanted to be part of the process in seeing large projects come to fulfillment.
The qualifying deadline for city offices is March 2, with party primaries set for May and the general election on June 5.
Ward 5 Councilman Bobby Smith, reported to be considering a bid for mayor, said he has delayed qualifying early because he is "still weighing the options.
Councilman Smith said he would make his decision soon regarding which post he would seek.
Ward 2 Councilwoman Mary Perry, a Democrat, said she intends to run again and will file qualifying papers soon.
According to Ward 3 Councilwoman Barbara Henson, who says she also plans to qualify, some officials may have been waiting to qualify until a decision is finalized on redistricting.
Municipal elections could be delayed pending the redrawing of lines under Census 2000 figures.
Both houses of the Legislature have now passed a bill that would allow Meridian and eight other Mississippi cities to hold elections as scheduled this year and redistrict in time for elections in 2005. The bill would take effect should it be signed by the governor and approved by the U.S. Justice Department.
Mississippi remains one of a handful of states prohibited from changing any election procedures without Justice Department approval.
Ward 4 Councilman Jesse Palmer Sr. couldn't be reached for comment on his political plans.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.