By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Mayoral candidate Fred Pitts formally kicked off his campaign Thursday morning with the help of his supporters.
The Tupelo businessman, who represents Ward 2 and serves as city council president, pledged to “Advance Tupelo.”
“In the last 3 1/2 years, we’ve done a lot to turn Tupelo around,” said the Republican, who has lived in Tupelo since 1969.
Pitts plans to stay the course with a few adjustments.
“The major thing is that we have to continue to revitalize our neighborhoods and our city,” Pitts said, commending the work of Mayor Jack Reed Jr., who is not seeking a second term, and his colleagues on the Tupelo City Council. “I certainly intend to take that ball and run with it.”
Pitts laid out three key priorities for his work if he is elected to serve:
• Making Tupelo city services more user-friendly for individuals and businesses.
• Encouraging business growth.
• Continuing to clean up and revitalize neighborhoods.
“This is probably the single most important thing we’ve done in four years,” Pitts said about neighborhood revitalization. “We need to continue.”
To date, Pitts is the only candidate who has qualified to run for mayor in Tupelo. The deadline for candidates to qualify is March 8.
Pitts said he is planning ahead for if he gets an opponent and he plans to open a campaign office at Crosstown on Feb. 19.
He is raising money to cover campaign expenses. Any money not used for the campaign will be held in escrow for four years and then donated to a Tupelo charity, Pitts said.