HINDS COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – The race for the District 5 supervisor seat in Hinds County is among the races being watched closely ahead of November 7. Two Independent candidates are looking to unseat incumbent Supervisor Bobby McGowan (D-Miss.).

Jonathan Pond enters this race with more than 10 years of experience in the Economic Development Sector for Counties and Cities and plans to focus on the county’s finances.

“Bringing that experience to the table is seeing what worked and didn’t work with counties and cities and how to get things through. The budget needs just need some attention. I need some better direction. We also can’t go to sleep on the future of where the budget’s going. Businesses are either going to move in or move out. And so if we’re not bringing them in, then they’re going to move out. And so if we’re not bringing them in, then they’re going to move out,” Pond said.

Chris Woodard is a former Hinds County employee. Once working as a mechanic for central repair, one of his main priorities is the employees of Hinds County.

“I know a lot of the guys that have retired from up at Central Repair here lately, and they would probably still be there if the morale was better. They’ve been beaten down. They really have. The last time I heard the supervisors were making either $45 or $50,000 for a part time job. I mean, that’s a lot of money for part time, and you’re not paying your guy that’s out there on the side of the road with a flag trying to stop traffic,” said Woodard.

The two Independent candidates both plan to address the roads in District 5, as well as the strategy to get them fixed.

“There are some safety maintenance or safety issues, say with the roads, with signs, you know, you can’t see stop signs because limbs are in the way. You can’t see stripes on the roads anymore. You know, there’s a long list of of issues that fall under safety for our for our residents. That those need to be addressed first,” said Pond.

“We need to go in there and see why we have a supervisor over a supervisor over a supervisor. Okay, and delegating different things. Okay, so there’s just a lot of people out there taking up space with some jobs. And I think that would free up some money that could go to other places,” said Woodard.

Incumbent Supervisor McGowan did not reply to WJTV 12 News’ repeated requests for an interview.

The General Election will be on November 7, 2023.