Deas, Hull say no to Tupelo mayor’s race

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By Robbie Ward/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – In advance of today’s qualifying deadline for Tupelo city elections, two prospective candidates for mayor have confirmed they will not run.
Doyce Deas, former councilwoman-at-large and candidate for mayor, confirmed Thursday that she will not run for mayor in the upcoming election. She lost in the general election in 2009 to Jack Reed Jr., a Republican, who will not seek a second term.
A lifelong Tupelo resident, Deas said choosing not to run was a difficult decision but she plans to stay involved helping improve the city.
“I will continue to work steadfastly through other channels to make this the best community possible for all residents,” Deas said.
Also, journalist and minister James Hull, who has flirted with the idea of running for mayor, announced Thursday that he will not seek the office. Hull previously said he would file papers to run as an independent if no other candidate he could support ran.
So far, City Council President Fred Pitts, a Republican, and attorney Jason Shelton, a Democrat, have filed papers to seek the city’s top political office. Without party opponents in the scheduled May 7 primaries, Pitts and Shelton would coast into the June 4 general election unopposed.
Hull said he would support Shelton in the election.
“I feel my candidacy as an independent will be fractious, divisive and counterproductive, and, therefore, have decided not to run for the office of mayor,” Hull said.
robbie.ward@journalinc.com