Four of the five Meridian City Council seats will be up for grabs this election beginning with May 7th's primary. Friday was the deadline for candidates to qualify, and coincidentally the US Justice Department approved the new Ward lines the City Council submitted last summer on Friday as well. That approval put two candidates into races that they hadn't originally anticipated. One of those is Kim Houston, and now she's having to switch up campaign plans.
"It just kind of blew my mind because although we knew that things were happening, it was my understanding that things would not change until after this election."
Houston originally was running against long-time City Councilwoman Barbara Henson in Ward 3, but the new lines placed her residence in Ward 4. Houston, a Democrat, is up against three other Democrats and an Independent. She says that she doesn't like looking at the election as running against anyone, but instead running for something.
"I'm running for a new day, and we are having to run a little faster and a little harder now, but the message is still the same. Our youth need to be inspired and it's time for a new day."
Houston's switch leaves Ward 3's race unopposed, guaranteeing Henson a 7th term on the Council. Since Henson is a Republican and Houston is a Democrat, they would not have met until the General Election in June, so Henson hadn't made too many campaign decisions yet. Now that she's unopposed, she feels much more relaxed.
"I've had two terms that I've had no opponents, and it's really a relaxing sort of thing and you can enjoy the commodity with the other candidates, and that I look forward to."
Democrat and Republican candidates will meet in the primary, and winners there will face each other and Independents in June.