Candidates prepare for mayoral election

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The deadline to qualify for the mayoral election is two weeks away.

The only person who is running for mayor as a republican, so far, is William Bond Compton Jr. Compton has run for mayor in the past and under several different party labels. The deadline to qualify to run for the mayor of Meridian is two weeks away.

"I've heard rumors of other candidates waiting in the wings to announce at the last minute. Until the qualifying deadline, you never know who will jump in," Wilson says.

Head of the Democratic Party in Lauderdale County Stephen Wilson says the democrats are ready for the election.

"There are two candidates for mayor, Mr. Percy Bland and Mr. Allen Shute," Wilson says.

We reached out to the Republican Party who says they will be releasing a statement about the election later. They have a meeting set for Monday night at Weidmann's.

Wilson says he has talked with Ward 2 Councilman Dustin Markham about running for mayor as a Democrat, but there were no further discussions.

"He could switch parties and be a republican or he could gather 50 signatures and be an independent," Wilson says.

Markham ran as a Democrat for his current city Council seat. Markham tells Newscenter 11 that he will qualify for Mayor next week and will announce his party affiliation at that time.

Meanwhile, Wilson says Mayor Percy Bland is ready for the election.

"We have a strong incumbent who has helped reduce the unemployment rate. I look forward to a strongly contested election," Wilson says.

As of right now, five candidates have either qualified or stated their intentions to run for mayor. The incumbent Percy Bland, Councilman Dustin Markham Compton, Libertarian Mariner Durant, and democrat Allen Shute.