Candidates get chance to take stand on issues

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 8, 2003

With the general election just over four weeks away, localcandidates are moving into the final stretch in their respectiveraces. From Justice Court Judge to the House of Representativeswith offices in between, we have important races that will affectthe daily lives of the citizens of this area.

The DAILY LEADER staff has identified six of those races that wefeel deserve additional attention to help voters make decisions inthese final weeks. As we did prior to the primary election inAugust, we will again be publishing the results of questionnaireswe sent to candidates in the Lincoln County Sheriff, Lincoln CountySupervisors, House District 53 and District 92 races.

Our hope is that readers will be able to use these responses tohelp them make a more informed decision on Election Day.

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Each of the candidates has been sent a questionnaire bycertified mail. We asked the candidates to return their responsesby October 10. We will begin a series of stories on the individualraces the following week.

Questions submitted to the candidates are as follows:


1. The property tax levy for Lincoln County operations went up1.59 mills to 39.89 with the new budget year on October 1. What canyou do to ensure that the county’s needs are met while spending iskept under control?

2. Why should the citizens of your district entrust thesupervisor’s job to you?


1. What are the top three problem areas for Lincoln County lawenforcement, and how do you plan to address them?

2. Why should the voters of Lincoln County entrust you with thecounty’s top law enforcement job?


1. During a special legislative session in 2002, lawmakersenacted tort reform measures in an effort to improve the state’slegal climate and its reputation for “jackpot justice.” Many nowsay the legislation is not strong enough. What, if anything, wouldyou do to strengthen tort reform?

2. The state’s “truth in sentencing” law requires all inmates toserve at least 85 percent of their sentence before becomingeligible for parole. Since its enactment in 1994, the budget foroperating the state’s prison system has more than doubled. PrisonCommissioner Christopher Epps recently urged the legislature torevise the “truth in sentencing” law so it would not apply tofirst-time or non-violent offenders. Do you agree? Why or whynot?

As you can see these are not difficult questions, but they arequestions that might be of interest to voters who are undecided orjust not sure how a candidate stands on different issues.

It is our hope that as you see the candidates over the next fewweeks you will ask them about their responses on these and otherissues. These are very important elected positions and you, ascitizens, deserve to know how each of the candidates thinks. Ifthey fail to respond, you might want to ask them why.

With Mississippi now officially a two-party state, and in manycases with a full slate of Democrat and Republican candidates, onequestion that continually pops up at election time is whethervoters can vote for a particularly party’s candidate if the voterdid not vote in that party’s primary election? The answer is yes.The November 4 General Election allows voters to vote for anycandidate, regardless of party affiliation.

The general election is on Tuesday, November 4. Please be sureto vote.

Write to Bill Jacobs at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, Miss.39602, or send e-mail to