By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – One new candidate has qualified to run in Tupelo city elections this week.
James “Mickey” Jenkins, 62, became the fourth Republican to file papers for the Ward 6 race. He is a retired captain with the Oxford Fire Department and former supervisor of Lafayette County who currently drives a school bus. He joins incumbent Mike Bryan, 49, an insurance/financial sector businessman; Wayne Chrestman, 35, an insurance adjuster; and Tom Hewitt, 74, a small business owner and minister.
In all, 13 Tupelo residents have filed to run for city council as of noon Friday. 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.
Current Ward 2 councilman and council president, Republican Fred Pitts, 69, owner of SafeStore of Tupelo, is the only candidate to qualify, to date, for mayor. Current Mayor Jack Reed Jr. announced his intention not to seek re-election last year.
Republican incumbent Markel Whittington, 63, a local business owner, is the only candidate for Ward 1.
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 and political science major.
In Ward 3, incumbent James 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.
In Ward 5, incumbent Jonny Davis, 48, a private property manager, and Buddy Palmer, 72, a retired businessman, have both qualified as Republicans.
In Ward 7, which covers southwest Tupelo, incumbent Willie Jennings, 60, a small business owner, has qualified as a Democrat.