By Alyssa Schnugg
A recent opinion by Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has prompted a third candidate to drop from the Oxford Board of Alderman election.
D. Ryan Grover qualified to run in the Ward 3 race earlier this month; however, according to the Oxford City Clerk’s Office, Grover withdrew from the race Wednesday morning.
Grover was one of three Democratic candidates (and one Republican candidate) to enter the race for Ward 3 after current Alderman Janice Antonow announced she would not be seeking re-election.
Remaining in the Ward 3 race are Democrats Brian Hyneman and Alexandria White and Republican L.McQueen Miscamble. Hyneman and White will go head-to-head during the April 6 primary election. The winner will go up against Miscamble on June 8.
Grover withdrew due to Fitch’s recently-published opinion that stated: “candidates for municipal ward office, in a municipality with a population of 1,000 or more, according to the latest federal decennial census, must have been a resident of the ward they seek to serve for a minimum of two years prior to the date of the election.”
The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office had interpreted the state statute to mean that a candidate must live in the city or municipality for two years, but not necessarily the Ward in which they were running for office.
Opinions of the Attorney General are advisory only and not binding in a court of law.
Two Ward 1 candidates – Harry Alexander and Erin Smith – also withdrew from the race due to Fitch’s opinion on Friday and Monday respectfully.
The last day to qualify for municipal election was Feb. 5. The primary is on April with the general election on June 8.
Here is an updated list of current candidates for mayor and Board of Aldermen:
Mayor: Incumbent Mayor Robyn Tannehill (I), Brandon Pettis (I) and Kyle Davis (R).
Ward 1: Incumbent Alderman Rick Addy (D) and Bill Crews (D). To be decided during the April 6 primary.
Ward 2: Afton Thomas (D) and incumbent Alderman Mark Huelse (R).
Ward 3: Brian Hyneman (D), Alexandria White (D) and L.McQueen Miscamble ®. Hyneman and White will face off in the primary election. The winner will run against Miscamble.
Ward 4: Kesha Howell-Atkinson (no opponent)
Ward 5: Incumbent Alderman Preston Taylor (D), Justin Boyd (D), Barney Chadwick (R) and Tracey L. Williams (D). Taylor, Boyd and Williams will face off in the primary election. The winner will run against Chadwick in June.
Ward 6: Incumbent Alderman Jason Bailey (R) and Migueel Centellas (D)
At-Large: Incumbent Alderman John Morgan, (I) and Linda Porter Bishop (D)