Hattiesburg mayoral candidates participate in a debate before the election

Pine Belt News

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The general election in Mississippi is just days away. There are several key races including the Hattiesburg mayoral race.

Democratic Candidate LaKeylah White is challenging Independent Incumbent Mayor Toby Barker. Both candidates discussed their platform and answered questions from The League of Women Voters of the Pine Belt, Mississippi Move and The Forrest County Branch of the NAACP.

Mayor Baker says he wants to continue to build on the success of the last four years.

“I believe we’ve seen a lot of progress, I think you can see it in every part of our city, we believe in quality infrastructure for every neighborhood,” Mayor Barker said.

Other focus areas during the debate included youth programs and community policing.

“I want to get more programs for our youth, I also want to focus on community development and housing as well as community policing,” White said.

“Invest in alternative strategies like social workers and crime prevention specialists, we have to engage in every evidence based policy practice we can to prevent crime,” Barker said.

Both candidates will face off in the general election next week.

The polls will open beginning at 7am and close at 7pm.

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