First Congressional Candidates Forum begins tonight via Zoom

The League of Women Voters of Oxford/North Mississippi is hosting two primary election forum Zoom meetings this week to introduce female candidates running to be the U.S. Representative for Mississippi’s First Congressional District.

The primary election forum for Republican candidates will take place on April 19. The Democratic Primary Candidates Forum will take place on April 21. Both forums are scheduled from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Registration links are provided below. These moderated forums will be held via Zoom.

The candidates will make a brief timed presentation of their positions, followed by questions submitted by the audience.

Questions can be directed to Co-Chair and Director of Communications, Ruth O’Dell, at [email protected] or 706-436-7710.

The Republican Candidates Forum will take place tonight at 6 p.m. The moderator is Bobby Harrison of “Mississippi Today”. Possible candidates will be Representatives Trent Kelly and Mark Strauss.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcod-6qrD4sG9JPAwZTvaLDPdPn9NIOMHF9

The Democratic Candidates Forum will take place at 6 p.m. on April 21. The moderator will be attorney Don Mason.

The possible candidates who will appear will be Dianne Black and Hunter Avery.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIucOuorj4vHdHphKxZybk7pqFZcQrvlygb
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the meeting.

LWVOXNMS is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government and never supports or opposes any political party or candidate.

Biographies of candidates

Democratic candidates

Dianne Dodson Black

Born and raised in Barton, Mississippi, she has been married for 48 years to James Black Jr. and has four sons, one daughter and three grandchildren. Her 90-year-old father lives near her in Byhalia and like Black, he has never lived anywhere but Mississippi.

She graduated from the Unraii School of Beauty Cultures in 1981 and nine months later opened her own business in Olive Branch called The Hair Fashions, which is still in business to this day.

Inspired by Pres. Barack Obama, Black is the first African American woman to run for Congress in Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District. Black wants to bring his small business experience to Washington and vote yes in Congress in Mississippi for the Biden/Harris administration. She is a longtime Democrat with campaign experience as she ran twice for city alderman of Olive Branch and for Mississippi Senate District 19. She is the treasurer of the Mississippi Early Voting Initiative Organization, a member of the DeSoto Marshall County Federation of Democratic Women, the DeSoto NAACP, the National Police Association, a founding member of the Memphis Civil Rights Museum, The Amicae, and St. Luke’s Church of God. in Christ led by Elder Earl Allen Shannon.

Hunter Avery

Avery, one of the candidates for Mississippi’s 1st congressional district, was raised by a disabled single mother and learned to see the value in everyone.

“We all have something to bring to the table. I’ve worked primarily in manufacturing, but I’ve also been a correctional officer and now work for a pharmaceutical company. I decided to run for office after witnessing the events of January 6, 2021. I decided there was no more time for the rusty wheels to try to turn.

We need new minds and new faces in politics. I’m running to save the soul of this nation. If elected, I pledge to spend every day fighting to protect the right of every human being to exist without persecution or obstruction. I will not give up the fight even after the passage of laws such as the Equality Act, the codification of Roe v Wade into constitutional law, universal health care and the Green New Deal. Progress demands that we keep moving forward.

Republican candidates

Marc Strauss

“I am 64 years old, twice married. But I never had children of my own. I grew up in Kansas City. I never went to college, instead, right after high school, I followed in my father’s footsteps into the lighting industry where I enjoyed a career spanning over 40 years and I am certified by the NCQLP and a lighting engineer.

My career took me across the country extensively, but I spent 22 years in Iowa, where I founded Strauss Architectural Systems. I then sold in 2018. I represented over 240 companies during that 13 year period exclusively for Iowa and Nebraska, including GE Lighting Systems for eight of those years. As for my moral beliefs, I let my actions speak for me. I am pro-life and believe that life begins at conception. In 2003, my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, when my eldest brother Joël, who had a car accident at 19 and was cared for by my parents until then, came to live with me. with me ever since and always will be. In 2004, my mother also came to live with me. I took care of her at home until her death in 2008, in bed at home.

Trent Kelly

Kelly (Republican) is a member of the United States House, representing Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District. He took office on June 9, 2015. His current term ends on January 3, 2023. Kelly (Republican Party) is seeking re-election.

Kelly beat Walter Zinn (D) by 40 percentage points in the second round of the 2015 special election to replace late Representative Alan Nunnelee (R). Kelly has served in the Mississippi Army National Guard since 1985. In 1990 he mobilized for Desert Storm and deployed to Iraq in 2005 and 2009. He was awarded two Bronze Stars, the insignia of Combat Action and the DeFleury Medal. He was promoted to brigadier general in January 2018.

Prior to his election to the United States House, Kelly served as the Tupelo City Attorney and District Attorney for the 1st Judicial District of Mississippi.


Staff report

Melvin B. Baillie