John C. Harris
Ward 5 Meridian city councilman John Harris doesn't face opposition in the primary, but he is fielding questions about his recent termination as police chief at the Mississippi University of Women and the future of his campaign.
Harris was seeking re-election as councilman in and was employed as the police chief at MUW in Columbus.
School officials said he couldn't do both and they were under the impression he would not be running for office.
Councilman Harris disputes that. He said MUW vice president Perry Sansing, who has been handling the job process for Harris, was aware he was running for re-election, although Harris admitted he never told Sansing personally.
Harris says his run for re-election was never a problem until a few days after he was hired when someone contacted Mr. Sansing asking questions about his employment. Harris says he believes it was a bullying tactic to get him to remove his name from the ballot and Harris says he wasn't going to give in.
"He wanted me to say that I was going to get out of the race. But that was never an issue at the beginning; that was never in my contract. There was never anything said contractually that I had to get out of the race because they knew I was in the race when they hired me," said Harris.
Harris says he held the position as police chief from Monday, April 20, to Friday, May 1. Harris faces Republican Bobby Smith in the general election on June 2.