Politics in the DeSoto County town of Walls, Miss., population 1,000, is anything but usual.
The candidates won't be squaring off on the issues, not because there aren't issues, but because the mayoral race is lacking candidates.
There is an election coming up in Walls and only one person has qualified for the mayor's seat. Alderwoman Patti Denison will succeed incumbent Mayor Lynda Austin because she chose not to seek another term in office.
"Primarily the political races in Walls are not dirty and ugly and mudslinging, that just doesn't happen in walls and that's a good thing," Mayor Austin said.
But then again, it is after all sort of hard to have a dirty mud slingin', politically fiery mayoral race when you only have one candidate. Mayor Austin will retire at the end of this term after which Denison will be voted in unopposed as mayor.
Walls has a long history of mayoral candidates running unopposed. The current mayor ran unopposed. The mayor before that at one point ran unopposed.
Even the former, former mayor has run unopposed.
Could it be that potential candidates are turned away by the less than lucrative salary set aside for those chosen to head this municipality?
"In our budget it is $20,000 for the mayor's salary," Mayor Austin said. "It really at that level is not a full-time job. I chose on my own not to take a salary the last 18 months. I have worked the last year and a half and not cost the town a penny."
As for there being such a lack of interest in running for mayor in Walls, that could be a good thing or a bad thing.
"Apparently our citizens either don't care and there is apathy, because they don't step forward or they are happy with what is going on," Mayor Austin said. "I have been told it could be a little bit of both, so generally if people are not happy with what is going on they will say I am going to do something about that, and that just hasn't happened."
Not only is Alderwoman Denison running unopposed for mayor, but so are four out of five seats for the Board of Alderman. The only reason there is going to be an election in Walls this year is because there are five alderman positions, and in one ward there are actually two candidates.
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