Vicksburg mayoral race mayhem - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Criminal record, address legitimacy concerns in Vicksburg mayoral race

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Tempers flared Thursday during appeals by those who wish to stay on the Democratic ballot for River City mayor. Tempers flared Thursday during appeals by those who wish to stay on the Democratic ballot for River City mayor.
David Day's party loyalty was called into question because records showed he voted Republican for at least three years. David Day's party loyalty was called into question because records showed he voted Republican for at least three years.
Linda Fondren's residency was the reason for her disqualification. Her representation says she's lived at one of her properties in the city for over 30 days. Linda Fondren's residency was the reason for her disqualification. Her representation says she's lived at one of her properties in the city for over 30 days.

Tempers flared Thursday during appeals by those who wish to stay on the Democratic ballot for River City mayor.

"Anytime you have turmoil going on through the elected process, or what have you with the elected officials, you do get a feeding frenzy where you have more candidates than usual sign up. Cause everything's considered wide open," said Democrat Executive Committee member John Shorter.

Three disqualified candidates chose to appeal the committee's decision. Lester Smith's records show he's a convicted felon. But he refused to go before the board when they called him up first.

"Mr. Smith has no comment at this time. Mr. Smith will make a comment when he's prepared," said Lester Smith.

The committee stood by their decision that Mr. Smith remains disqualified.

David Day's party loyalty was called into question because records showed he voted Republican for at least three years.
         
"The Democratic elections were all but decided, my vote had the most value in the Republican primary," explained Day.

The committee learned the state doesn't allow party loyalty to be used as grounds for disqualification. But his residency was also questioned. He presented his license, utility bill and home insurance information.

"What other, perhaps a photo of me sleeping in the bed at home?" asked Day while waiting for the committee's response. Day also explained why the address matches that of his work address.

"We live at our business. The drive to work is great," he said.

David Day's name is now back on the list of qualified candidates.

Linda Fondren's residency was the reason for her disqualification. Her representation says she's lived at one of her properties in the city for over 30 days.

"She got a vehicle at one of them. That's more than sufficient to establish sufficient evidence," said Willie Griffin who was representing Fondren.

The committee asked for the vehicle registration. Because it had Thursday's date on it, the committee chose to take another three days to decide if Fondren will be back on the ballot.

The committee will make their decision on Linda Fondren on Monday. Lester Smith remains disqualified. There are four other Democratic candidates qualified, aside from those in question as well as one Independent candidate.

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