Eight people are vying for the vacant Ward 3 seat on the Jackson City Council.
The election takes place Tuesday, Jan. 27. A runoff will follow two weeks later, on Feb. 10, if no one candidate captures more than 50 percent of the vote.
While turnout tends to be low in a special election, Ward 3 is among the most politically active of the city's seven voting districts. In the 2013 regular election, 26.4 percent voter turnout in Ward 3 was the second highest in the city, behind only Ward 2.
The candidates are Jarvis Williams, Albert Wilson, David L. Archie, LaTonya R. Vann, Kenneth I. Stokes, Gwendolyn Chapman, Lawrence Anderson Jr. and Pam Greer.
The Jackson Free Press sent questionnaires to the candidates who provided their email addresses. Stokes, Chapman and Vann declined to complete the questionnaire.
Stokes is a Hinds County supervisor and the husband of the previous Ward 3 councilwoman, LaRita Cooper-Stokes. Stokes also held the Ward 3 position until 2012, when he joined the county board. Stokes been a lightning rod for controversy as an elected official but, because of his popularity, is considered a favorite to at least make it into a runoff.
Chapman ran for several offices in the past, including for the Ward 3 council seat, as well as in the 2014 special election for mayor.
Five candidates who did write back shared their reasons for running and ordinances they would propose if elected.
"I would propose an ordinance that would prevent a known drug dealer or prostitute from loitering at anytime," said Archie, a business broker who defines loitering as "strolling up and down the streets (and) standing outside of stores and on street corners."
Albert Wilson, the founder of Genesis and Light community center, struck a similar chord, saying he wants to target "parents of chronically absent children" and reopen Lake Hico to keep kids from skipping school.
"My goal is not to prosecute our young people or parents, but I am seeking to change the behavior and the requirement to attend school from age 6 to 17," Wilson wrote.
Greer, who founded the Pam Greer Foundation to work on violence-prevention issues, wants to regulate nightclubs, bars and adult cabarets.
"The nightclub ordinance will address one or more acts of violence resulting in physical injury or observed illegal drug activity," she wrote. She added that licensed establishments would face penalties, such as suspension or revocation of liquor licenses.
Anderson also wrote that he would explore ordinances to manage juvenile delinquency in coordination with social services and other forms of community engagement.
In addition, Anderson wrote: "I, too, would support an ordinance to streamline and fast-track city services that support small businesses. We could benchmark the best practices in the country and aim to have Jackson ranked in the top tier of cities to conduct and incubate new businesses."
Williams, who has not sought public office before, wrote that he wants to take aim at derelict property owners.
"I would propose an ordinance requiring owners of vacant/abandoned homes and businesses to maintain the safety and appearance of their properties," Williams wrote.
Read the candidates' full questionnaires here.