Six candidates vying for the senate seat formerly held by Vincent Davis of Fayette met at Rea Auditorium on the Co-Lin campus in Wesson on Monday night for a legislative forum sponsored by the Wesson Chamber of Commerce. The gathering of the candidates was designed to allow voters in the district to hear in person where each candidate stood on a wide variety of issues in the only public forum for all of the candidates ahead of the special election on Tuesday, February 16.
Albert Butler of Port Gibson, Elvis E. Colenberg of Fayette, Kenneth H. Ramsey of Hazlehurst, Jimmy D. Strong of Carpenter, Ken Dale Sullivan of Wesson and Jazma Wheeler of Crystal Springs spoke their beliefs on job creation, consolidation of school districts and merging of state colleges, the state budgeting process and taxation. Other topics included the possible closing of the School of Arts in Brookhaven, how state government should support small businesses and funding of education at all levels in Mississippi.
The special election was called in mid-January after former seat holder Vincent Davis of Fayette was appointed Chancery Judge of Adams County by Governor Haley Barbour.
Jerry L. Cain, Sr. of Fayette was a candidate for the seat until Monday evening when he relayed a message to Co-Lin president Dr. Ronnie Nettles that Cain was ending his run because of recent health issues.
Serving as moderator for the forum was David Higgs, a political science professor at Co-Lin.
Voters in District 36, which includes most of Copiah County, a portion of southwest Hinds County, Claiborne and Jefferson County are urged to go to the polls on February 16, and be prepared to return again in two weeks for a run-off between the top vote-getters if none wins a majority of the vote.