Maxwell on House candidate list

Published 6:00 am Monday, March 5, 2007

Brookhaven Alderman D.W. Maxwell is, in fact, a candidate forHouse District 92, the Democrat Party announced Friday afternoonafter a review of the approximately 290 qualifying papers itreceived from candidates for state offices.

Keelan Sanders, executive director of the party, acknowledgedthe party made a mistake that led to Maxwell’s not being includedon list of candidates released after Thursday’s qualifyingdeadline.

“He was qualified. I personally signed his paperwork last week,”Sanders said Friday afternoon.

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Maxwell’s omission was not detected when the party’scommunications director, Terry Cassreino, released information oncandidates. The DAILY LEADER reported Friday that Maxwell was not acandidate.

“Mr. Maxwell did qualify to run,” Sanders said. “He was codedwrong.”

When papers are filed with the Democrat Party, Sanders said,they are coded as candidates or elected officials.

“It had him coded as an elected official and that’s why hedidn’t show up in our sorting for candidates,” Sanders said.

Maxwell accepted the mistake with aplomb.

“It was just an honest error. Those happen,” he said. “You haveto be pretty careful when you go into these things.”

Unfortunately, the aldermen said, he was unable to contact TheDAILY LEADER Friday morning to clarify the mistake.

“I apologize I could not clarify this because I was in flightfrom Washington, and we didn’t get into Jackson until around noon,”Maxwell said. “I hate that it happened. I’ll probably have about900 calls on my machine when I get home.”

Maxwell said he knew he was a candidate because he filed hispapers at the party headquarters Feb. 23, the same day he announcedhis candidacy to The DAILY LEADER.

On Monday, he said, he visited the office of each circuit clerkin District 92 and left a copy of his qualifying papers.

“You don’t even have to do that. I just did that out ofcourtesy,” Maxwell said. “I just wanted them to know in casesomeone asked.”

Sanders said Maxwell was not alone in being miscoded.

“It did happen to one other candidate,” he said.

Robert Smith, a district attorney candidate in the HindsCounty’s Seventh Judicial District, was also miscoded, Sanderssaid.

“We have 290 forms we’re literally going through one-by-one anddouble checking with our database now to make sure they areaccurate and current,” he said.

Sanders said he hoped the process would be completed by the endof the day Friday. The party’s Web site will not be updated untilthe database is current, he said.

“I do not want to update it until I’m sure everyone is in,”Sanders said. “We’re working as fast as possible.”

Maxwell is the only Democrat to file papers for the seat held byRepublican Rep. Dr. Jim Barnett, who has chosen not to seekre-election. As the only Democrat, Maxwell will advance to thegeneral election Nov. 6 to face the winner of the Republicanprimary.

Republican candidates Paul Barnett, Everett “Gene” Buckles andBecky Currie will meet in the Aug. 7 primary to determine whoMaxwell will face in November.

Buckles emerged as a candidate for the seat Thursday. He is theowner/broker of Brookhaven Realty and Development and the owner ofBuckles Construction Co. Inc.

People, he said, are Southwest Mississippi’s most valuableresource.

“It would be an honor to serve and represent District 92 as ourstate representative,” he said.

Buckles has served as president of the Southwest Board ofRealtors and is presently a member of the board of directors forthe Mississippi Association of Realtors. He is also a pastpresident of the Southwest Mississippi Homebuilders Associationwith officer posts and memberships in other serviceorganizations.