Political access denied

Published 7:15 pm Tuesday, May 15, 2007

After apparently going through all the steps needed to qualify, a technicality kept a local politician from joining the race for State Representative in district 108, a seat now held by Mark Formby.

Following a Hinds County Circuit Court hearing held last month to determine if Greg Mitchell Jr. would be able to face Formby in the Republican primary, the court’s decision was to deny Mitchell’s petition for a place on the Republican primary ballot.

Mitchell filed the required documentation for qualification to be added to the primary ballot by facsimile through the Pearl River County Circuit Clerk’s office. The primary reason given in the court’s ruling denying Mitchell’s petition is that facsimiles are not a valid way to qualify to run for office.

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According to court documents provided with the final ruling, Mitchell should not have filed any documentation by fax. Only original copies are to be brought to the Republican Party’s office in Jackson by 5 p.m. on the day of deadline, the judge ruled.

“I am disappointed and somewhat disagree with the decision, but that’s life,” Mitchell said.

The court’s decision to refuse Mitchell a place on this year’s ballot will not deter him from seeking political office in the next election, he said.

“My political career is just beginning. Today is a new day and I will be looking at all my options in the future,” Mitchell said.

For the next election Mitchell said he would still run under the Republican party banner and will try to work towards correcting some problems he has noticed in some areas of society.

“Had I been allowed to run, there were many issues that I felt needed to be addressed,” Mitchell said.

This denial of Mitchell’s placement on the ballot has left incumbent Mark Formby with no contenders for the seat he now holds.

Formby said that from a personal stand point the court’s decision will make his running for office much easier since he stands unopposed. However, he said he will campaign as though he has opposition. Politically, he said, the court’s decision was out of his hands.