HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) — Several other cities are swearing in new mayors — Clarksdale, Hernando, Starkville and Hattiesburg all have new faces in their leading office.
A special election will be held in Hattiesburg because before becoming mayor, Toby Barker served in Jackson as Representative for District 102.
“I know our district is looking for someone who can effectively carry out and represent the needs,” said newly-elected mayor Toby Barker. “The unique needs of the 40 blocks of central Hattiesburg.”
Two residents, Cory Ferraez and Kathryn Rehner have announced their separate campaigns in hopes of becoming the newest representative.
Governor Phil Byrant will have to announce an official date for the special election, but Farraez and Rehner have already began knocking on doors and asking for support.
“Infrastructure and jobs and economic development is something that could really benefit the residents of Hattiesburg,” said Ferraez.
“The biggest issue to me is access to health care, quality health care,” added Rehner.
The University of Southern Mississippi alumna and social worker believer if residents are not health, then it’s hard to do their job.
“Access to care is the most important thing that we can do to create a healthy, thriving community.”
Ferraez, an attorney in the Hub City is pushing for voting transparency during his campaign.
“I will post how and why I vote on every single piece of legislation on my Facebook page and my news letters while i’m serving in Jackson,” he states. “I think public service, to get above self-service, we have to let others know what’s going on in our capitol.”
Once Governor Bryant sets a date, all those planning to be on the ballot will go through a qualification period.
All candidates must run as independents according to his spokesperson Knox Graham.
As of now, the two are the only ones running for the District 102 Representative position
Ferraez is from Columbus, Miss., he now lives in Hattiesburg and is an Attorney. He received his undergraduate degree from The University of Alabama and attended Ole Miss Law School.
Rehner is from Hattiesburg. She graduated from USM and is currently project director for the Mississippi Health Access Collaborative.