By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
NETTLETON – Willie Brandon Jr. was elected to the Nettleton School Board in November while serving as Nettleton’s Ward 3 alderman. Under the Mississippi Constitution, he can’t serve in both positions at the same time.
But Brandon qualified to run for re-election to the Board of Aldermen before he was elected to the school board, and officials say his name will remain on the May Democratic primary ballot for alderman.
Brandon automatically vacated his alderman seat when he took the oath of office for the Nettleton School Board, according to the state constitution.
The seat will most likely remain vacated since the election is so soon.
Gary Carnathan, attorney for Nettleton, said the board would have to declare the seat vacant at one meeting and then appoint another alderman at the next, by which time the citizens already will have elected a new alderman in the May 7 Democratic Primary.
Brandon said he filled out his qualifying paperwork for the upcoming municipal election before ever being elected to the Nettleton School Board.
Brandon said even though his name will be on the ballot, he probably won’t be elected because his priority is serving on the Nettleton School Board.
In Mississippi, someone cannot hold a position in two different branches of government.
The Mississippi Constitution divides government into legislative, judicial and executive branches. A board of aldermen is in the legislative branch of government and a school board is considered executive.
The article concerning service in multiple branches reads, “The acceptance of an office in either of said departments shall, of itself, and at once, vacate any and all offices held by the person so accepting in either of the other departments.”