JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The Mississippi Republican Party ruled one candidate for Public Service Commissioner does not meet the requirements to run for the office.
Pascagoula Mayor Dane Maxell filed a challenge with the party over Perry Parker’s qualifications, saying Parker hasn’t lived in Mississippi the required five years prior to the election.
“After much discussion and consideration in a very close case, the executive committee voted this afternoon to not certify Mr. Parker’s candidacy for Public Service Commission for the Southern District," a representative from the Mississippi Republican Party told WLOX News Now.
Parker maintained he has always been an official resident of Mississippi, though his work took him to other states where he lived and voted.
“This decision doesn’t define citizenship of our state, but it does define poor leadership by party officials. I’ll continue to be involved in efforts to grow our state as I remain committed to my home and neighbors,” Parker said.
The decision leaves Maxwell and Diamondhead businessman Kelvin Schulz in the August Republican Primary race for Southern District Service Commissioner.
”I am certainly pleased with the outcome, but hate we had to resort to this measure," Maxwell said. “As I’ve previously stated, this came to my attention through the Democrat camps, who I was told would be challenging if a candidate was nominated by the Republican Party that did not meet the constitutional and statutory requirements. That would have meant that we could lose the Republican seat on the Public Service Commission that we have held since 1992.
"Having said that, it was my hope that we could work this out without having such a vote with the executive committee. I wish Mr. Parker well, he is a fine man and represented himself well in his run for Congress. Now it’s time to go to work for the people of the Southern District.”
Parker does that the opportunity to appeal the decision in chancery court.