Candidates in Hattiesburg mayoral runoff election discuss future plans for city

Pine Belt News

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – On Tuesday, voters will head to the polls in Hattiesburg to vote in the mayoral primary runoff election. Two Democratic candidates are in the runoff.

Lakeylah White said her extensive experience in community planning and urban development makes her the best candidate.

“I always elevated to a higher level with the city. My last position was appointed director of federal and state programs. I think that my experience and education has afforded me the capabilities to make a great mayor for Hattiesburg,” she stated.

White said her platform is to keep local businesses thriving. If elected, within the first few months of her term, she would make a point to meet with department heads.

“I would sit down with all of my department heads, chiefs, director’s and just see where we are as a city, like to hold meetings with stakeholders, local pastors, business owners in the community and hear their concerns, let them voice their concerns,” White said.

White faces Vanessa Jones in the runoff. Jones said it’s important to help small businesses prosper in the city. She plans to meet with area partnerships to help improve infrastructure.

“I’m going to get with the area development partnership and see exactly what we can do our plan for the east side of Hattiesburg, because right now, people are leaving the city of Hattiesburg. Over the past four years, we’ve had a decline in population,” stated Jones.

She wants to improve the education system and reduce crime in the city.

“It’s paramount that we get a handle on our education system so we can deal with the crime rate we have here in Hattiesburg. Right now, Hattiesburg was the ninth-worst city to live in the state of Mississippi out of 297 cities in the state and that’s just not acceptable,” said Jones.

The runoff election to decide the democratic nominee is Tuesday, April 27. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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