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McBride announces candidacy for mayor

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
FEB. 6, 2001
Promising a more inclusive city government if elected, political activist and retired U.S. Navy Master Chief Bill McBride stood on the steps of City Hall Monday and announced his candidacy for mayor.
McBride said, if elected, he will make a greater effort to "open the doors" of City Hall to a larger number of citizens and gather community input about issues affecting Meridian's future.
McBride qualified on Monday as an Independent candidate. Meridian's municipal election is currently scheduled for June 5, although local NAACP leaders have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to delay the election until after the results of Census 2000 are available.
NAACP President Obie Clark endorsed McBride on Monday.
McBride said a more citizen-friendly government is necessary if the city is to realize its full potential.
McBride, a former postmaster in Vossburg, Miss., is no stranger to the political scene in Meridian.
Last year, McBride successfully led a lobbying effort to defeat a $33.5 million school bond issue that, according to him, would have "grossly overspent taxpayer money."
McBride has often attended Meridian City Council meetings in the last several years and said he feels confident about his knowledge of how city government operates.
In addition to more access for citizens, McBride said he would like to elevate the amount of services city departments currently offer and would try to be more mindful of spending taxpayer dollars.
McBride is married to the former "Vi" Thomas of South Carolina. The couple has six children and 23 grandchildren.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at