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Lairy, Fowler face off to fill Turner's seat on Jan. 15


Jeff Clark



A special election to fill the 16th District Senate seat left open by the Nov. 27 death of Sen. Bennie Turner, D-West Point, will be held next Tuesday, Jan. 15.  


Turner's daughter, Clay County prosecutor Angela Turner Lairy will face former West Point business owner Kenny Fowler in the election. As state law makers head back to work this week, the winner of the race will weigh in on issues such as the budget, charter schools and health care. During the 2012 legislative session, Turner opposed a charter school bill presented by Senate Education Chair Gray Tollison, R-Oxford. 


The 16th District includes portions of Lowndes, Clay, Noxubee and Oktibbeha counties. In Lowndes County, the district extends into District 4, including a portion of the Coleman precinct, the entire Crawford precinct, the entire Plum Grove precinct and a portion of the Townsend Park precinct. In District 5, it includes the entire Artesia precinct and a portion of the Hunt precinct. 


Voting will be held from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. 


In the upcoming municipal election in Columbus, Ward 6 councilman Bill Gavin has officially announced he will be seeking a second term in office. 


"I'm proud of the things we have accomplished during my first term such as the work on Bluecutt Road," Gavin said Friday. "There are some things I want to continue to work on such as the overlay district on the Highway 45 corridor." 


Gavin will be facing Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau board member Whirllie Byrd, who qualified on Friday. Both are running as Republicans. 


Ward 2 Councilman Joseph Mickens qualified on Friday. Mickens, who is running as a Democrat, will face Republican challenger Susan Mackay. 


All municipal incumbents have qualified except for Ward 4 Councilman Fred Stewart, who has stated his intention to run for another term. The primary election will be held May 7. If necessary, a run-off will be held May 21. The last day to qualify is March 8 at 5 p.m.




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