Interim Chief of Police Selvain McQueen has withdrawn from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s race.
According to the Secretary of State’s Communication’s Director, Pamela Weaver, McQueen filed “all necessary documents to withdraw from the race” Thursday afternoon.
The State Election Commission met on Friday to approve the ballots for the Nov 8 election. McQueen, who was running for the office as a Democrat against Republican candidate Mike Arledge, will not be on the ballot. Weaver also states that the Democratic party can nominate a new candidate should the current one resign for a “legitimate nonpolitical reason”.
Mississippi code 23-15-317 states: “If any person nominated for office in a primary election shall die, be removed after his nomination or withdraw or resign from his candidacy for a legitimate nonpolitical reason as defined in this section, and such vacancy in nomination shall occur between the primary election and the ensuing general election, then the municipal, county or state executive committee with which the original nominee qualified as a candidate in the primary election shall nominate a nominee for such office.”
The code defines a “Legitimate nonpolitical reason” as a “Substantial business conflict, which shall include the policy of an employer prohibiting employees being candidates for public offices and an employment change which would result in the ineligibility of the candidate or which would impair his capability to properly carry out the functions of the office being sought.”
It has been questioned if McQueen was still eligible to run for Sheriff once he was appointed as Interim Chief. According to the Hatch Act, persons in charge of federal funds can not run in a partisan election.
“The Hatch Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 1501-1508, restricts the political activity of individuals principally employed by state, county, or municipal executive agencies in connection with programs financed in whole or in part by loans or grants made by the United States or a federal agency. It has long been established that an officer or employee of a state or local agency is subject to the Hatch Act if, as a normal and foreseeable incident of his principal position or job, he performs duties in connection with an activity financed in whole or in part by federal funds”
The application deadline for the Chief of Police expired yesterday. The deadline was originally set for August 25 but was extended to September 8. McQueen has submitted an application with the city for the position.