The death of incumbent state Rep. Esther Harrison early Wednesday leaves one person’s name on the ballot in the District 41 election: Kabir Karriem, the Columbus councilman from Ward 5.
Harrison, 69, had served as the representative for District 41 since 2000 and was to face Karriem in the Aug. 4 Democratic Party primary. There are no Republican candidates in the race.
The ballot will include only Karriem’s name.
According to the Lowndes County circuit clerk’s office, election ballots have not yet been printed. Pamela Weaver, with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office, told The Dispatch that Harrison’s name will not appear on the ballot.
“Rep. Harrison’s name will not appear on the ballot, assuming we are advised by the State Democratic Executive Committee to remove Rep. Harrison’s name by reason of death,” Weaver said. “Because of the unfortunate death of Rep. Harrison, pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. Section 23-15-365, write-in votes will be counted for this race.”
Since no independent, third party or Republican candidate qualified for the election, Karriem will run unopposed in both the Aug. 4 primary and the Nov. 3 general election.
On Wednesday, David Armstrong, chief operating officer for Columbus, declined to discuss how the city would find a person to represent Ward 5 on the council when Karriem vacates the seat, saying it was insensitive.
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.