Standing before family, friends and community supporters, Tiffany Sturdivant formally declared her campaign for the District 41 state representative seat as a write-in candidate on the Riverwalk in Columbus on Wednesday.
Sturdivant will face fellow write-in candidate, former Columbus Municipal Judge Nicole Clinkscales, and the on-ballot contender, Ward 5 city councilman Kabir Karriem, in the August 4 Democratic primary.
The primary will decide the seat. There are no Republican candidates.
“One of the reasons why I wanted to go ahead and throw my name in the hat is because I think a representative should be someone you know, someone you know has the best interest of the community,” Sturdivant told the crowd. “I feel like I’m the most qualified person for that. I’m one of you guys…I think it’s important that we stop giving our power away.”
Sturdivant, 27, has worked as a licensed professional nurse for six years. She is the secretary of the Memphis Town Community Builders, a non-profit that organizes events and children’s activities in Columbus.
She made no promises in her speech, but said she would work hard, tell the truth and be accessible.
“I don’t want to say what sounds good, I want to say the truth,” she said.
Sturdivant said she wanted to run because her close relationship with Democratic incumbent Esther Harrison, who died June 10 at age 69. Harrison had served as District 41 representative since 2000.
“Ms. Esther was one of those who would take the time of day to meet with you,” she told The Dispatch. “I want to do the same.”
Instructions were passed out to attendants on how to write-in a candidate at the polls. Sturdivant said supporters they do not have to spell her name correctly, simply make their intent clear.
Sturdivant is serving as Columbus councilman Marty Turner’s campaign manager in his bid for District 5 county supervisor, and Turner is serving as Sturdivant’s campaign manager.
“She’s always here to help people,” Turner said. “If you know her like I know her, she will be there to help you. I am the city councilman for Ward 4, and I am endorsing her.”