By The Associated Press
JACKSON — Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. has drawn opposition from 10 Democrats for the party primary on May 7.
In Mississippi’s largest city, Johnson is running for a second term. Among his Democratic opponents are two sitting councilmen — Frank Bluntson and Chokwe Lumumba. Three independents qualified for the June 4 general election.
Friday was the deadline for candidates to qualify for the 2013 municipal elections. Most cities will elect mayors and local governing boards. Some cities will elect police chiefs and city clerks.
Candidates must be registered voters living in a city. Candidates for aldermen or city council posts must live in the ward or district in which they run.
In Tupelo, it’s a two-candidate race to succeed Mayor Jack Reed Jr., who didn’t seek re-election. City Council President Fred Pitts, a Republican, will face attorney Jason Shelton, a Democrat, in the June 4 general election.
In Hattiesburg, Mayor Johnny Dupree is facing fellow Democrats Thomas Garmon and Catherine M. Starr, and four independents: Ward 4 Councilman Dave Ware, Clyde Stewart; Nathan Jordan, and perennial Mississippi candidate Shawn O’Hara.
Along the Mississippi Coast, Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran, Diamondhead Mayor Chuck Ingraham, Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame and Long Beach Mayor Billy Skellie will all face challengers.
Moran, a Democrat, will face Republican John McKay and independent Mary Marr Beckman.
Ingraham, a Republican, will face Republicans Tommy Schafer and Carl Necaise and independent John Fletcher.
Fillingame faces fellow Democrat Mike Weems and Republican Jeff Harding.
Skellie is opposed by Kelvin I. Nelson. Both are Republicans.
In Gulfport, where Mayor George Schloegel isn’t seeking a second term, Billy Hewes III, a former Republican state senator, will face Democrat Billy Barnes in June.
In Pascagoula, Mayor Robbie Maxwell will not run again, and that race has so far drawn four candidates — Republicans Jim Blevins, Frank Corder, Robert M. Hardy and George L. Wolverton Sr.
Biloxi Republican Mayor A.J. Holloway is seeking a sixth term as mayor and has two opponents, Republican David Bull and Democrat Jess Kennedy.
Gautier Mayor Tommy Fortenberry has two challengers — Republican Gordon Gollott and independent Edward C. Harding.
Mayor Rusty Quave in D’Iberville is challenged by James “Jimmy” Nichols and Travis Burke. All three are Republicans.
Moss Point Mayor Aneice Liddell will face challenges from Democrats Elizabeth Irby and state Rep. Billy Broomfield, and independents Dobbs Dennis and John Mosley Jr.
Canton Mayor William Truly, a Democrat, faces three primary challengers, including the then-incumbent he beat four years ago, Fred Esco. Two Republicans will meet in that party’s primary.
In Madison, Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler will square off against Madison County Supervisor John Bell Crosby in the GOP primary.
In Vicksburg, state Rep. George Flaggs, a Democrat, is challenging Vicksburg Mayor Paul Winfield, whose recent arrest on federal bribery charges and a sexual harassment lawsuit haven’t dissuaded him from a re-election bid. A businesswoman and health advocate, Linda Fondren, and a former vice mayor, Gertrude Young, are running, too.
Southaven Mayor Greg Davis faces legal troubles of his own in the form of lawsuits and a remand from the state auditor’s office for allegedly misusing public money. Davis filed papers to run for re-election as an independent. Davis previously ran as a Republican.
In Clarksdale, where openly gay candidate Marco McMillian recently was killed, the sitting mayor’s son, state Rep. Chuck Espy, will face former gubernatorial candidate and businessman Bill Luckett in the Democratic primary.