Canaan Will Be Only Woman On Biloxi Council

Arlene Canaan's campaign strategist showed up at the councilwoman elect's front door so they could orchestrate her swearing in ceremony.

A constant barrage of phone calls interrupted the meeting. Most of the calls came from friends and supporters. This one was from a fellow councilman. "We'll be a good team," she told Biloxi councilman Mike Fitzpatrick.

On the day after her victory, the mother of three, and grandmother of two had thank you letters to sign, and city planning papers to read, so she could prepare herself for life as a Biloxi politician. "I've got to learn all the what ifs and the ins and outs," she said. "What is politically correct. What I can do and everything like that first."

Canaan tried doing what she normally does on a Wednesday. But at her Lions Club lunch, the ward three councilwoman elect got a standing ovation when she walked into Mary Mahoney's. She received red carpet treatment in part because she just became the first female elected to the Biloxi council since 1993. She said she would offer "new ideas, fresh face. Women think differently than men, let's face it. So I think that's what the people are ready for."

Canaan is filling Jim Compton's unexpired term. So she has less than a year to leave her mark on Biloxi.

Canaan already has plans to run for re-election next year when all council seats are up for grabs. But because of redistricting, that race will be for a ward one seat -- not the ward three post she just won.