David Smith Launches Unusual Dual Campaign In Picayune - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/14/05

David Smith Launches Unusual Dual Campaign In Picayune

When campaign signs for the municipal elections go up in Picayune, voters may think they're seeing a typo. That's because the name David Smith will appear as a candidate for Mayor and City Council. That may sound strange, but it's completely legal according to state law.

When David Smith introduces himself to voters as a candidate for Mayor and City Council, he usually gets the same response.

"You're running for both offices?" a Picayune man asked Smith. "Why are you running for both?"

Smith says he's doing it because he can, at least according to the Attorney General's interpretation of the state constitution.

Smith doesn't have a reputation as a politician. He's known around town as The Quilt Man, making quilts and donating them to hospitals and agencies that care for children in the worst of circumstances.

"The at-risk babies, sick babies, AIDS babies, crack babies, abused babies," Smith says.

It's that desire to help others, Smith says, that drives his unusual campaign.

"It's actually to bring out more people to the polls, get things stirred up. People are fed up with the same old same old. Time to get something better in there. We can do better. If I won, I'd choose [to be] Mayor, to make the city a little safer and pay raises. A 5 percent pay raise for the firefighters and police and other city workers, and get some of those pot holes fixed."

Smith says he's just beginning to knock on doors around Picayune and share his ideas. Between now and election day, he hopes citizens will find him worthy of their vote in at least one of the two races.

"Can't win unless you run."

Smith is running as an Independent in both races. But, says he aligns himself with the Libertarian Party. If he should win both the City Council and the Mayor's race, Smith would have to choose one. A special election would be called to fill the other post.

by Al Showers

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