Mayoral forum tests Biloxi's candidates

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Monday night, Biloxi's mayoral candidates squared off one week before next week's primary elections. The men had just one hour to draw distinctions in their mayoral campaigns.

"Let's just let Biloxi be Biloxi," said democratic candidate Jess Kennedy.

While Kennedy said he will focuses on grassroots politics to rebuild Biloxi, the two candidates trying to win a spot on the ticket as the republican candidate offer a different approach.

Panelists asked a series of questions presented to the candidates on topics ranging from billboard bans to casino expansion. But one thing the candidates told me they would have liked to elaborate on was the pace of the city.

"We're moving too slow," said state representative Michael Janus. "It's been four years since Katrina. And certainly Katrina was a devastating storm for our city, but it's time to continue to move forward. Four years is too long."

Incumbent A.J. Holloway disagrees.

"I think we are right on target," Holloway said. "We've got hundreds of millions of dollars in the pipeline now for projects that we are going to be opening bids in two months on a civic center, a new library and the lighthouse park. So that's some bunk about not moving quick enough."

Since Kennedy is the only democrat vying for the title of Biloxi's mayor, he has an automatic spot on the general election ticket.

The citizens of Biloxi still have to decide which republican candidate will ultimately run for Biloxi's highest office.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.