The time to qualify to run for the vacant House District 36 seat has passed.
Tuesday was the final day that eligible citizens in the had the opportunity to file qualifying papers, and the day closed with the already half dozen candidates that had filed by late last week.
It is still a healthy group that is running, and Clay County dominates the pack with five of the six candidates.
The seat became vacant early in January at the passing of longtime House Rep. David Gibbs, a Clay County native. Prior to Gibbs having the seat, current West Point Mayor Scott Ross served District 36 from 1983-1992.
Gibbs left the Clay County Board of Supervisors that year to join the House of Representatives, a seat he held until his death.
Immediately following his passing, Gibbs’ son Karl told the Daily Times Leader that he was planning to run for his father’s seat.
Shortly after that, Clay County resident Rev. Eddie Longstreet came forward with a declaration to run for the House.
Roderick Van Daniel, the only candidate not from Clay County followed with his qualifying papers in late January. He is from Aberdeen.
Jeannie Staten, a retired West Point school teacher of 27 years decided to officially enter the race at the end of January.
Two weeks ago, Jimmy Davidson made his intentions official, and on Friday Bobbie Coggins-Davis became the sixth and final candidate to declare for the seat.
The actual election will take place on March 12, a date set by Gov. Phil Bryant. Bryant had 30 days from the time the seat became vacant to set the date.
The special election will be Clay County’s second this year, as Clay County citizens joined Oktibbeha, Noxubee and Lowndes citizens in mid-January to elect Angela Turner, who filled the seat in the Senate left empty at the passing of her father Bennie Turner in December.
District 36 covers most of northern Clay County and portions of the eastern and western parts of the county.