The U.S. Justice Department approved city council ward lines Mar. 8, which was also the qualifying deadline for candidates.
Twenty-six candidates are seeking municipal offices in Meridian, including eight candidates for mayor.
Three of those candidates are independents, meaning a large field will make it to the general election.
City election officials say it will make for a busy election season.
"It is an important thing we do when we have an election, to elect the people who will represent us in our governments," said city clerk, Ed Skipper. "So it is critical and I would encourage people to vote in their primary and certainly in the general election."
Party primaries are Tuesday, May 7. The general election is Tuesday, June 4.
Candidates for Mayor of Meridian:
Rod Amos - Democrat
Cheri Barry - Republican
Percy Bland - Democrat
William Bond Compton, Jr. - Republican
Wally Hudnall - Independent
Walter Patton - Independent
* Randle Jennings - Democrat (was not certified by Democratic Party)
* Doug Nichols - Independent (did not have enough signatures on petition)
City Council Ward 1:
Brian Keith McCary - Republican (withdrew from race)
George Thomas - Republican
Martin Jack - Democrat
Ronnie Oberhaus, Jr. - Democrat (withdrew from race)
City Council Ward 2:
Kenneth Dustin Markham - Democrat
Mary Perry - Democrat
Nathaniel Pringle, Jr. -Democrat
Terry Stennis - Democrat
City Council Ward 3:
Barbara Henson - Republican
City Council Ward 4:
Thomas Everett Hopson - Independent
Craig Houston - Democrat
Kim Houston - Democrat
John Nelson, Jr. - Democrat
Jesse Palmer, Sr. - Democrat
City Council Ward 5:
Albert "Brick" Emerson - Democrat (withdrew from race)
Randy Hammon - Republican
John C, Harris - Democrat
Bobby R. Smith - Republican