Hancock County Government

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sun Herald Article on this Forum


Hancock supervisor candidates get online presence

Web site started to inform residents


A local civic group has established an Internet presence for candidates in the crowded county Board of Supervisors race, but most incumbents seeking re-election did not participate.

A number of their opponents have participated, posting photos, along with personal information and professional backgrounds. However, only one of the five sitting supervisors - all of whom are being opposed - chose to be included.

The sponsoring group, Coastal Community Watch, said it added the Web page to its unofficial Hancock County site to give residents more information on the heated county races. More than 25 candidates are running for the five supervisors' posts.

A master page for the site can be reached through hancockmississippi.com. Candidates were able to explain their platforms and answer eight questions about their beliefs and the challenges facing county government.

Ellis Anderson, of Coastal Community Watch, said the site is a first for Hancock County elections. The group sponsored a similar effort during the Waveland elections.

"We wanted to make it easy for people displaced by Katrina to see who the candidates are and get information on them, and on absentee voting," Anderson said.

However, the site has no information on incumbent Supervisors David Yarborough, Rocky Pullman, Steve Seymour or Jay Cuevas. All are listed as "chose not to participate."

District 3 Supervisor Lisa Cowand, the sole incumbent who did participate, said the Internet represents a new mode of campaigning. "A lot of people have talked about it," she said. "This was a first for me, and it looks like they're getting a lot of hits."

One of District 1 Supervisor Yarborough's opponents, Stephanie Davis Ladner, is listed on the site. In Pullman's District 2 race, three of his seven opponents - Guy Fricke, Larry Smith and Wayne Whitney - responded. Louie M. Ladner is Cowan's only opponent who participated.

In the race for the District 4 seat held by Seymour, opponent Kevin Ladner is the only candidate who responded. He is also the sole candidate with a link to his own Web page, which has additional information and a photo gallery.

Four candidates running against District 5 Supervisor Jay Cuevas responded and are listed. They are "Kojak" Carl Ladner, Tony Wayne Ladner, Wanda Ladner and Wesley Lossett.

Yarborough could not be reached for comment Thursday, but Cuevas and Seymour said they missed a deadline to be included on the site. "Time got a little short and I just didn't fool with it," Cuevas said.

"I called to do it, but they said it was too late," Seymour said. "I told them I would answer any question they had, and they could put it on the Web site."

Pullman, who is also current board president, said Internet campaigning isn't his style. "I knock on doors," he said. "I answer questions when people want to know. I feel my message is best delivered looking the voter right straight in the eye."


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