List of Miss. Reform Party candidates shortened by commission

Published 8:28 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A list of Mississippi Reform Party candidates was trimmed Tuesday amid an inner-party dispute about who leads the party and who should be on the ballot.

The state Board of Election Commissioners voted to allow only one Reform candidate — Lamonica Magee — on the ballot for the Nov. 7 general election.

Three other Reform candidates who attempted to qualify will not be on the ballot. They are Shawn O’Hara, who intended to challenge Republican Trent Lott in the U.S. Senate race; Thomas Randolph Huffmaster, who intended to run in the Delta’s 2nd Congressional District; and Ken Woodford, who intended to run in south Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District.

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The candidates who won’t be on the ballot were those pushed by O’Hara, a former national Reform Party leader.

Ted Weill of Tylertown, who says he is the Reform Party’s Mississippi chairman, said O’Hara called and conducted a “bogus” state convention several months ago.

Weill presented the state Election Commission a letter from the national party showing that he, not O’Hara, is the state chairman.

The state Election Commission members are Gov. Haley Barbour, Attorney General Jim Hood and Secretary of State Eric Clark. Barbour is a Republican. Hood and Clark are Democrats.

They accepted Weill’s recommendation that only Magee appear on ballots for the Reform Party this fall.

O’Hara has run unsuccessfully for several state offices, including governor and U.S. representative.

O’Hara attended the Election Commission meeting Tuesday wearing dark sunglasses. He interrupted Barbour several times as the governor presided over the meeting.

O’Hara said he will seek an injunction to try to stop the November election.