During a Tuesday night debate, one of the main disagreements between Cheri Barry and Percy Bland was their supporters. With new campaign finance reports, the debate is sure to continue.
The final campaign finance report released prior to the June 2 election shows Republican Cheri Barry raising $111,356 for the year to date and Democrat Percy Bland raising $70,533.
But in this election, it's who's donating and offering support that has been producing some of the strongest attacks.
"My opponent is part of the establishment in this city," said Bland. "People who have helped other administrations are people who are her supporters."
"I believe one of your biggest supporters is Mary Peavey, so talk about taking it back to the old ways," Barry replied. "If you want to talk about going backwards, we can do that. You were for the school bond issue and Mary Peavey and Hartley (Peavey_ were against it. What does that tell the community?"
And with that, Bland defended Mary Peavey's dedication to local youth while criticizing Barry's commitment to the community in the same breath.
"She understands that this community is only as good as our human capital, something you don't understand because if you did understand it, wouldn't take you 20, 30, 40 years to get involved with helping the people here," Bland said. "You would have done this a long time ago."
In response, Barry a lifelong resident of Meridian, took the opportunity to review her resume and again question the length of time Bland has lived in the city.
"So don't tell me about not serving the people," Barry said. "You have only been here 6 months in the city."
And while both candidates have raised impressive totals, it appears they are spending it as fast as they bring it in.
Bland currently has $5,498 on hand, while Barry has $6,324.