Meridian, Mississippi Meridian's soon-to-be mayor is reflecting on his recent campaign that led voters to choose him as the city's new mayor.
With less than a week to go until inauguration day, Meridian's mayor-elect says it will be an honor to serve as the city's first black mayor, given the city's history when it comes to mayoral elections. However, that's not all he says.
"It's very important to me because of the way everything happened in this race," Bland says. "And what I mean by that is this campaign was not about party, or race or gender, or any type of demographics because we had such a cross-sectional amount of support."
Bland saw a large number of voters support him in the Democratic primary election on May 7th. That large number helped make history on June 4th by electing him as the new leader of the Queen City.
"We had a lot of people who have never voted before, who actually got out and voted," Bland explains. "We had a lot of people who had felony records, who did not even know they could vote, that voted for the first time. We had people from other parties and races support us from all ages."
The U.S. Justice Department was also brought in at the request of Bland and his opponent, Mayor Cheri Barry, to ensure provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were enforced.
"We ran a race that put out a message for everyone to feel a part of and that's why we think we were chosen Mayor of Meridian, Mississippi."
Bland will be sworn into office on Monday, July 1st at 11:30 a.m. at the Temple Theater in downtown Meridian.