Mayoral Interviews: Part 1 - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Mayoral Interviews: Part 1

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Tension is growing between the candidates for mayor as election day approaches.

There are five candidates running for office. Nathan Jordan is a minister and owner of his own community grocery in Palmer Crossings.

Shawn O'Hara is a business consultant and movie producer that has run for mayor in past years.

Clyde Stewart is a landscape designer and self-employed business contractor.

Incumbent Mayor Johnny DuPree was elected back in 2001 as the first African-American holding the position in Hattiesburg.

Dave Ware is a nurse anesthetist who has served on the city council for about six years.

Why should you, the voter, elect them into office?

"We have a number of issues that immediately need our attention, and I feel as if I have the ability to get things done," says Jordan.

"I'm not important. My issues are to fix the roads, and to get rid of the bad smell in Hattiesburg," says O'Hara.

"I understand what needs to be done, and I can get it done economically and efficiently," says Stewart.

"I love to be able to help people, and I love helping move Mississippi and Hattiesburg forward," says DuPree.

"The vision is to make sure we are creating opportunities in our community for all of us tor rise up together," says Ware.

What will their top action plans be if elected?

"I would like to revamp administration and streamline in areas where there needs to be," says Jordan.

"Fix the roads, get rid of the bad smell in Hattiesburg, protect the rights to buy, sell and trade guns," says O'Hara.

"I would like to see some things happening in downtown as far as the development," says Stewart.

"There's some projects we've already started that I'd like to see completed like Chain Park," says DuPree.

"I think one of the most important things that we are going to face again is the waste water treatment," says Ware.

What are their thoughts about the current plans regarding the lagoon systems?

"The systems here are old and outdated, and that's all due to a lack of maintenance," says Jordan.

"We've got to stop industry from over-using the lagoon or we will face the same problem down the road," says O'Hara.

"What I've been proposing is a mechanical system that they use in Sweden that is more proficient," says Stewart.

"We all want the smell to go away and I think that the entire council and I are united in that," says DuPree.

"If we don't make sure that we build properly and appropriately, then the decision we make is really irrelevant," says Ware.

Part two the mayoral debate will air on Wednesday. The candidates will talk about the municipal court's investigations, as well as their thoughts on the Hattiesburg Police Department and campaign donations.

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