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Meet the Candidates: Lafayette County Supervisor District 2 Race Largest on Ballot

The race for District 2 supervisor has the most candidates in the five Lafayette County supervisor districts. Incumbent Jeff Busby announced he would not be seeking re-election early in the year, but is instead running for Circuit Court Clerk.

The candidates consist of two Republicans and six Democrats. If one candidate does not receive 51+ percent of the votes a run-off will be held on Aug. 27. The winner will face the winning Republican candidate in November in the General election.

Republican Candidates

Chad Mills

Name: Chad Mills
Age: 46
Education: Graduate of Oxford High School
Occupation: Manager of Operations for Barefoot Lawns

1. Why are you running?
I have always had a passion for serving others and a strong desire to work through issues for a common objective. That objective is the future of Lafayette County. I am running to help make sure that what we do today helps the generations that come after us.

2. What do you feel is the biggest issue facing Lafayette County and what are your thoughts on how to help correct the problem?
The biggest issue for me is growth and how we stay ahead of that. We want to grow, but we also want to do it correctly so that we are not going backward to solve issues that should have been done initially. If we all work together and communicate with each other, there is no reason we as a county cannot achieve our full potential.

3. What is your No. 1 promise to the voters in your district should you win?
My number one promise to the voters is that I will take every suggestion and idea and bring it to the attention of the board. We cannot do everything that everyone asks for; but that doesn’t mean we just ignore those ideas. We need to try and find a way to at the very least, explore the option of granting the request of the citizens. Sometimes we just don’t have the funding, but at least exhaust all efforts in finding out what we can do.

Larry Gillespie

Name: Larry Gillespie II
Age: 45
Education: Bachelor of Business from The University of Mississippi
Profession: Oxford career firefighter, Oxford Police Officer, construction management, Local business owner (Construction Waste Management, LLC.)

1. Why are you running?
I have been a public servant for sixteen years and I want to continue to serve this community in a proficient manner with honesty and integrity. I will work to keep the county growing in a sensible manner while using common sense to make decisions that affect the rural parts of the county. 

2. What do you feel is the biggest issue facing Lafayette County and what are your thoughts on how to help correct the problem?
Public Safety and Infrastructure will be high priorities when I am elected.  We have many bridges throughout the county that are rated below the weight limit of a fire apparatus. This limits access to certain areas of the county for emergency services.  We must continue to keep up with the growth of the county with our roads and bridges.  We must also keep the pressure on our state representatives to maintain and improve our state road system throughout the county. 

3. What is your No. 1 promise to the voters in your district should you win?
I will be available to all the citizens of Lafayette County and I will make common-sense conservative decisions that are in the best interest of the citizens of Lafayette County

Democratic Candidates

Ed Neilson

Name: Ed Neilson
Education: Oxford High School, University of Mississippi
Occupation: 14 years in the MS Army National Guard; many years in the construction business and currently the Master Carpenter for the Theater and Film Department at Ole Miss

1. Why are you running?
I have a genuine desire to see Lafayette County continue to grow for all its citizens. I have talked to people all over District 2 and have come to understand that the concerns of those living close to Oxford are not necessarily the same as the concerns of those living in greater Lafayette County. They range from keeping the Community Center opened in Philadelphia to a lack of space in the public library; from lack of recycling to the number of deputies on duty during a shift. I have the experience and leadership qualities necessary to make decisions that will keep Lafayette County moving forward.

2. What do you feel is the biggest issue facing Lafayette County
and what are your thoughts on how to help correct the problem?
Lack of adequate Infrastructure and Transportation are what I consider to be the biggest issues facing Lafayette County. Infrastructure is something we take for granted every day. It consists of: water, sewer, gas, storm drains, electricity, communications and sidewalks. Transportation consists of roads and bridges. There are approximately 700 miles of county road and approximately 160 bridges in Lafayette County to be maintained. It takes a collaborative effort of the county road manager, the county engineer and the supervisor to oversee the maintenance and repair necessary to keep the county roads safe. How to correct the problem isn’t as straightforward as identifying the problem. It all comes down to funding. The county can apply for grants through Three Rivers Planning District and apply directly for Federal or State grants. State Aid money is available for designated State Aid roads. Bond issues are also an option as well as our tax dollars.

3. What is your number one promise to the voters in your district
should you win.
I will be approachable, available and hard-working. Anyone who knows me will tell you that if you don’t want to know what my feelings are on a particular issue, then don’t open that door; which is another way of saying that I will always be truthful. I will give every issue and every person the same consideration under the same circumstances. I promise that I will not make a promise that I cannot keep.

Max Hill

Name: Max Hill
Education: University of Mississippi, Art Institute of Atlanta
Occupation: Realtor

1. Why are you running?
I am running because I want to keep Lafayette county a great place to live and raise our families. 

2. What do you feel is the biggest issue facing Lafayette County and what are your thoughts on how to help correct the problem?
The four pillars of my campaign are economic development, workforce training, affordable housing and infrastructure.

3. What is your number one promise to the voters in your district
should you win?
Working with others, especially ones you don’t always agree with, is one of my core philosophies. At the end of the day, it’s about finding common ground and creating solutions for the common good. My pledge to the voters of District 2 is to bring that philosophy to work with me every day.

Ava Halon Bonds Gossett

Name: Ava Halon Bonds Gossett
Age: 48
Education: Northwest Community College
Profession: Currently a nail tech; worked in father’s construction company; business owner

1. Why are you running?
I come from a long line of public servants as my mother was a public school teacher at Oxford High School for more than 46 years, and my grandfather, Jesse Hardin, served as chancery clerk, My aunt, Pasty Waller, was also chancery clerk and my great aunt, Mary Bonds, was Justice Court Judge. These are just a few of the people who instilled in me the value of public service and influenced my desire to serve. Lafayette County is my home. To protect and better the community as it grows is a job I desire to have as your next supervisor.

2. What do you feel is the biggest issue facing Lafayette County and what are your thoughts on how to help correct the problem?
I feel that infrastructure is a huge issue. Holding the contractors accountable if the watershed study isn’t done correctly. The need for protecting the established residents with the new construction developing around them, the tremendous need for affordable housing and continuing to help with the funds needed for our public schools excel.

3. What is your No. 1 promise to the voters in your district should you win?
I promise to be fair to all constituents. I will do everything in my power to provide for everyone in my district. There is no one person more deserving or more important than the other. Each one of you deserves the best of me as your public servant as you voted me into office.

Josh McGlawn

Name: Josh McGlawn
Party: Democrat
Age: 31
Education:  Master’s (MBA)
Profession: Business Owner

1. Why are you running?
As a fifth-generation Lafayette Countian and raising children here, I have a vested interest in the progress of this great community. As Supervisor of District 2, I would have a more direct influence on that progress.

2. What do you feel is the biggest issue facing Lafayette County and what are your thoughts on how to help correct the problem?
As I have listened to the concerns of the people, the main idea of what I have gathered is the overall state of the working lower and lower-middle class. Problems such as under-employment, lack of affordable housing and rural infrastructure are all main concerns of the people.

3. What is your No. 1 promise to the voters in your district should you win?
If elected as Supervisor of District 2, I promise to the people to continue to listen to their concerns and act on them accordingly.

Democratic Candidates Leslie Spence and Darryl Booker did respond to requests for information.


Hottytoddy.com staff report

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