Half of Tupelo council candidates miss deadline

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By Robbie Ward/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – While the focus now has turned to Tupelo’s mayoral race, just half of City Council candidates turned in campaign finance reports due Tuesday.
With no contested City Council elections on the general election ballot, candidates from the primary election must still turn in reports on spending and contributions.
Under state law, all candidates must turn in campaign finance reports for the pre-general election period – from April 28 to May 25 – and complete a “termination” report showing their campaign is no longer collecting or spending money and has settled all campaign debts.
Two candidates who won their primary elections, Nettie Davis of Ward 4 and Lynn Bryan of Ward 2, have not yet filed campaign finance reports.
Pamela Weaver, a spokeswoman with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office, said no monetary penalty applies for municipal candidates not filing campaign finance reports. However, candidates who win in the general election have strong incentives to file the report.
“The only repercussion is that a candidate cannot be sworn into office until they have filed all required campaign finance reports,” Weaver said.
Among candidates who have filed their reports, most reported little change from campaign finance reports filed on April 30 before primary elections.
In Ward 1, Republican incumbent and primary winner Markel Whittington reported spending $947, collecting $100 and having $1,097 remaining in his campaign coffers.
In Ward 3, Republican incumbent Jim Newell, who won the primary, reported a $1,600 contribution to his campaign to pay off remaining expenses. His primary opponent, Liz Dawson, reported $85 in contributions.
Ward 5 Republican primary winner Buddy Palmer reported $1,071 in expenses and a $2,720 contribution to his own campaign to pay debts.
Ward 6 incumbent and winner of the Republican primary Mike Bryan reported no activity but having $1,322 left over. Opponents Wayne Chrestman reported no contributions or expenses and James “Mickey” Jenkins reported contributing $223 to pay for an advertisement.
Ward 7 incumbent Willie Jennings, Democrat, with no primary or general election opponent, reported no contributions or expenses.
robbie.ward@journalinc.com