Four candidates have qualified for the District 17 seat in the Mississippi State Senate.
Bill “Doc” Canon qualified 12 days ago, while Bill Gavin, Bobby Patrick and Chuck Younger filed last week.
The deadline to qualify is Oct. 6.
The winner of the race will replace the late Terry Brown in next year’s legislative session. Brown died Sept. 4 after a battle with cancer. The term expires at the end of 2015.
A special election will be held Nov. 4, with a runoff scheduled for Nov. 25 if necessary. If the top vote-getter doesn’t get a 50-percent-plus-one majority vote, the two candidates with the most votes will go to a runoff.
Canon, Gavin and Patrick have told The Dispatch they intend to continue on Brown’s work to steer economic development projects to the Golden Triangle.
Like his fellow candidates, Younger said he wants to see Lowndes County continue to grow.
“Terry and (Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO) Joe Higgins have brought all this industry in for so many jobs,” Younger said. “It’s helped not just Lowndes County but the Golden Triangle area. I want to see it keep growing.”
Younger has farmed and ranched in Lowndes and Monroe counties for over 30 years.
District 17 currently comprises all of Lowndes County but will be redrawn to include eastern Lowndes County and portions of Monroe County due to redistricting. The regular senate election next year will be based on the redrawn boundaries, which exclude the city of Columbus.
Canon was Brown’s predecessor to the Senate and is a long-time Lowndes County veterinarian. Gavin recently retired as an instructor at East Mississippi Community College. Patrick retired in 2011 after nearly 40 years as an insurance agent.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.