By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Five of the seven sitting Tupelo City Council members have qualified for re-election.
In all, 11 Tupelo residents have filed to run for city council as of noon Friday.
Current Ward 2 councilman and council president Fred Pitts, 69, owner of SafeStore of Tupelo, has qualified as a Republican in the mayor’s race; he is the only mayoral candidate to qualify to date. Current Mayor Jack Reed Jr. announced his intention not to seek re-election last year.
The deadline to qualify for city elections is March 8. The primary election will be May 7, and the general election will be June 4. New terms begin July 1.
No one has qualified for the council seat for Ward 1, which covers the northwest side of Tupelo. The current councilman for Ward 1 is Markel Whittington.
In Ward 2, two Republicans have qualified for the seat: Lynn Bryan, 50, a general contractor, and Tom Carr, 48, Mississippi National Guard staff sergeant. The central Tupelo district includes the Joyner and Bristow Acres neighborhoods.
In Ward 3, which covers south central Tupelo, incumbent Jim Newell, 54, an Itawamba Community College professor, has qualified as a Republican.
In Ward 4, incumbent Nettie Y. Davis, 71, an artist and retired educator, has qualified as a Democrat. Ward 4 includes the Ida Street neighborhood as well as the North Gloster shopping district.
In Ward 5, which covers east Tupelo, two Republicans have qualified: incumbent Jonny Davis, 48, a private property manager, and Buddy Palmer, 72, a retired businessman.
Two Republicans have qualified for the west Tupelo Ward 6 seat, incumbent Mike Bryan, 49, a insurance/financial sector businessman, and Tom Hewitt, 74, a small business owner and minister.
In Ward 7, which covers southwest Tupelo, incumbent Willie Jennings, 60, a small business owner, has qualified as a Democrat.