February 15, 2017 10:25:58 AM
Two more candidates have filed to run for the mayor's office in city elections.
Garthia Halbert and Montrell Coburn filed with the city registrar's office to run as a Republican and Independent, respectively. Neither candidate responded to contact attempts by press time; however, Halbert is a former managing editor of The Dispatch.
The mayoral race now has four candidates, including former Columbus Police Chief Selvain McQueen and incumbent Mayor Robert Smith.
In Ward 5, Gary Jefferson has filed to challenge Councilman Stephen Jones for his seat.
Jefferson, 50, ran in last year's special election for Ward 5 to replace former councilman Kabir Karriem. Jefferson failed to advance from the initial four-candidate field to the runoff after drawing roughly 26 percent of the vote, behind Jones and Marthalie Porter.
Jefferson, Jones and former Columbus Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Mark Ward have qualified for the Ward 5 race.
Jefferson said he hopes to improve upon his mistakes for this election.
"I'm trying to work a little harder and reach out to more people," he said. "Every time you do something, you obviously learn from it. I do have a lot of experience now for Ward 5. It will give me an opportunity to capitalize and improve on some of the mistakes I believe I made in my campaign."
If elected, Jefferson said he wants to help improve living conditions by addressing things like crime.
"We need somebody out in the community that people can see trying to make a difference and a cleaner neighborhood," Jefferson said. "We hear so much from candidates talking about the roads and infrastructure and that's fine, but that's just kind of like the status quo."
2. St. John-Waters show on MPB tonight features MSU, Starkville STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
4. Regional job fair offers options COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. 21-year-old arrested for statutory rape at SHS STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY