Republicans Seeking More Candidates In Bay St. Louis - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/01/05

Republicans Seeking More Candidates In Bay St. Louis

Time is running out for candidates to qualify to run in city elections this spring. The deadline is Friday at 5pm. The city of Gulfport is crawling with candidates. But in Bay St. Louis, most incumbents, who are Democrats, are currently unopposed.

Al Showers tells us how the Republican party is trying to change that.

In most cities along the coast, political signs at every busy intersection serve as a constant reminder that city elections are only three months away. But that's not the case in Bay St. Louis, where the green space around their intersections is filled with nothing but grass.

Bay St. Louis Republican Committee Chairman Dr. Andrew Martinolich, says "There are two reasons that we don't have any viable candidates coming forward. Number one, the present Mayor, I think, has a good record and the people perceive that. Number two, he's the incumbent. The same thing holds true for the council members."

"It's a great big decision for some people to come forward. It's a campaign. Local level or not, it's an expensive proposition. We do help our candidates," said Faith Koger, the Hancock County Republican Executive Committee Chairman.

The Republican Municipal Committee is advertising in the local newspaper with a "wanted" ad asking people to become candidates.

Dr. Martinolich told WLOX NEWS, "There are a lot of people in this city who would make good public servants, but they just don't want to do it."

A campaign sign urging voters to re-elect Mayor Eddie Favre is one of only a handful of campaign signs you'll find in Bay St. Louis. Republicans say there should be more choices.

"I think everybody should have an opposition. Everybody who runs for public office should have opposition... so the people will have a choice," Martinolich said.

The republicans are still hopeful people will step forward and qualify.

"The last minute isn't too late," Koger said.

People have until 5pm Friday to qualify to run for city office.

by Al Showers

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