There's controversy in the House District 82 race. A group of citizens, spearheaded by an NAACP leader, is calling for the disqualification of the only Republican in that race.
In front of the Lauderdale County Courthouse, the Rev. Milton Johnson and supporters boldly called for Republican House District 82 candidate Bill Marcy to drop out of the race.
"We want him to drop out of this race because it will affect his integrity. And we're looking for someone with integrity and that won't be used as a puppet or even bought out," said Johnson, president of the Meridian/Lauderdale County chapter of the NAACP.
Johnson said Saturday he represents some citizens of Meridian. Johnson said Marcy isn't qualified because there are some discrepancies with his residency. Marcy says this is ludicrous and he is upset. He says this is a last ditch effort to smear his campaign.
"I'm a qualified elector and all those issues have been raised before our election commissioners and they voted in favor that I was a qualified candidate. And I have the letter right here certifying that less than a week ago," Marcy said.
Marcy says he's letting the sweat roll right off his back and he, along with some supporters and family, were out canvassing Saturday near 24th Avenue and Poplar Springs Drive.
Johnson said, according to Section 41 of the Constitution of the state of Mississippi, a House of Representatives member must be a resident of this state for 4 years and live within the district the candidate is seeking for two years immediately preceding the election.
Johnson claims in 2007, Marcy lived in a house on Poplar Springs Drive that is in District 83 and Marcy voted in that district. Marcy says it was simply an error.
"I made an apology to the election commission, but it's still a fact that I lived in District 82 for more than enough time," Marcy said.
The letter also states that Marcy changed his declaration of residency in August to 17th Avenue. Marcy says he's lived at that house on 17th Avenue for more than 2 and half years and has been a Mississippi resident for over 7 years. He says he owns several properties under the MT Group, LLC.
"I just think they're afraid that my candidacy might be gaining momentum," Marcy said.
Johnson says if Marcy doesn't pull out, he plans to file a challenge with the
circuit court. Marcy says he's pressing on toward the finish line of the House District 82 race.