A field of nine candidates will square off Sept. 24 in a special election to fill the Ward 1 city council position left vacant by the Aug. 6 death of Gene Taylor.
Adrienne R. Morris was the last of the nine candidates to qualify for the race ahead of Wednesday’s qualifying deadline.
Morris, 38, is a lifelong Columbus resident and works for Mississippi State Dining Services in Starkville.
Morris qualified Wednesday, the last day to enter the race.
“I did take some time to process this,” she said. “When Gene Taylor died, it took everyone by surprise. Before rushing in, I wanted to stop and think it through. It’s a huge responsibility.”
Morris said a key focus for her will be on infrastructure and bringing new businesses to the community.
“As I was collecting signatures to qualify for the race, I wanted to hear what was on their mind,” she said. “Over and over again, one of the subjects that came up was roads and the condition of our infrastructure. Crime is another issue we have to deal with, too. If we’re going to bring new business and grow and make Columbus better, those things have to be addressed.”
She said her educational background — she holds masters degrees in public policy and administration and work force development — will be useful as a council member.
“I think my education and experiences have put me in a position to serve,” she said. “That’s my motivation: What can move Columbus forward?”
Other candidates are: Trent Bush, Patrick Holmes, Tommy Jackson, Nedra Lowery, Anthony Sanders, Carolyn Sherrod, Ethel Stewart and Liz Terry.
A candidates forum will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Townsend Community Center.
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is email@example.com.
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