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Overby Center Hosts ‘Candidates Night’ Next Week


The Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics will host the ‘Candidates’ Night’ at 6:30 p.m. on April 30. All 13 candidates for the 1st Congressional District seat have an opportunity to meet university students, Oxonians and those who live in north Mississippi.

The candidates have less than two weeks before the special election on May 12. The special election holds that there are only candidates’ names on the ballot with no party affiliation listed. The Overby event is an opportunity for Mississippian voters get to know these candidates before that Tuesday.

If no candidate wins the majority vote there will be a run-off between the top two candidates on June 2.

Curtis Wilkie, Overby fellow, said, “It’s a unique situation, and somewhat confusing because there will be no partisan distinction. Because the numerous candidates come from different hometowns, this is an effort to give each of them an opportunity to be heard in a public forum in the Oxford area.”

The special election is due to the late Representative Alan Nunnelee’s passing this January. He held the 1st Congressional District seat from 2011 until January 2015 when he passed from an inoperable brain tumor. The district he left behind has 23 counties from DeSoto to Lowndes. Nunnelee had appeared in several Overby Center’s candidates’ forums.

Wilkie said written invitations had been extended to all 13 candidates. “So far, seven are committed to be here. We hope that every candidate will attend,” he said.

There will be no debate since the number of candidates will make the activity hard to keep within an hour-long forum. Instead the candidates are invited by the Overby Center to speak for five minutes each.

“It’s a tradition we hope to continue,” Wilkie said. “If there is a run-off, we hope to be able to follow up with a debate later this spring between the two remaining candidates.”

As with all Overby Center programs this event is free and open to the public. Representatives of newspapers, radio and television stations in the area are also invited to report the event. Candidates’ supporters are welcome and there will be campaign literature distributed at tables in the lobby outside the Overby Center Auditorium.

For more information on this event call the Overby Center at 662-915-1692 or emailing overbycenter@olemiss.edu.

Callie Daniels is a staff writer/reporter for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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