Bland Concedes Mayor's Race

Democrat Percy Bland Wednesday conceded the Meridian mayor's race.

Bland held a news conference outside the new ninth grade building under construction at Meridian High School. It was the same location that he announced his run for mayor in February.

Bland said he told his supporters he wanted to review the process before conceding.

"After I got the information I needed, it was time to say that everything seemed fair and in order," said Bland. "I wanted to make sure everything was done properly, because it was such a close race on both sides. Even though everything was not perfect, nothing would have changed the outcome of the race. Mrs. Barry's camp won."

Surrounded by family, friends and other supporters, Bland says after closely examining the election, all indications are that the outcome was fair.

"After reviewing all of the information, I want all of those who supported me to know unequivocally, it was a fair contest and I want to commend Mrs. Barry, Mayor-elect Barry on winning this race," said Bland.

However, it was a race that was hard fought. Raising more than $110,000 as part of his first bid for political office, Bland says he's proud of his campaign but if he could, there is one thing that he would change.

"We lost by 190 votes in absentee ballots," said Bland. "They did a better job in getting their count in than us, and we would want to have improved in two major boxes. Poplar Springs was a huge box for them and also the new annexed area played a major role in this election. So, anything I could've done to improve my percentages in those areas I would do."

As for what's next, Bland says he plans to continue with the youth programs that he currently works with and also plans to continue operating his insurance office, as well as working with the new administration to help further move Meridian forward.

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