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Norwood faces three challengers in Nov. 4 election

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Oct. 7, 2003
Three independent candidates will try to oust District 4 Supervisor Joe Norwood from office in next month's general election.
Norwood originally ran for supervisor four years ago. He lost by 11 votes to incumbent District 4 Supervisor Q.V. Sykes. When Sykes died of cancer last year, Norwood was chosen in a special election to complete his term.
Norwood then ran for re-election, and won the Democratic nomination during primaries in August.
He faces independent candidates Cedric E. Parks, Harry R. Routt and Susie VanDevender in the Nov. 4 general election.
Trading shots
Some of Norwood's opponents claim he has had his chance to make a difference.
Routt says Norwood spent too much time traveling around the country during his first year in office and has become a "yes boy" to District 2 Supervisor Jimmie Smith.
VanDevender says Norwood doesn't return phone calls and doesn't put the residents of District 4 first.
VanDevender works on a county road crew, installing road signs and safety markings, and working with paving crews, sanitation and inmate crews.
Norwood thumbed through a pile of pink slips Monday and rebutted the claim that he doesn't return phone calls.
Routt fires off
Routt, 48, said he decided to run for office because Norwood has disappointed him. Routt works on T-2C jets at Naval Air Station Meridian and is in charge of a work crew.
Norwood, though, said he has spent the past 11 months "learning the role" of a county supervisor and is educating himself on how he can best make a difference.
Parks offers salary
Meanwhile, 31-year-old Parks, said he plans to contribute 10 percent of his salary to needy families if he's elected.
Parks is a funeral director at Berry &Gardner Funeral Home in Meridian. He said wants to focus on the youth, needy families and senior citizens if he's elected.
Norwood said it takes more than money to solve the problems of the county's needy families.
What's at stake
Here is a look at the race for the District 4 seat on the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors.
The candidates: Democrat Joe Norwood meets independents Cedric E. Parks, Susie VanDevender and Harry R. Routt in the Nov. 4 general election.
The district: District 4 includes the west and southwest portion of the city of Meridian and the southwest parts of Lauderdale County.
The pay: Supervisors receive a $37,343 annual salary plus benefits that include $20,000 term life insurance, health insurance and use of a county vehicle.

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