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Black official: Annexation could change Starkville politics

May 26, 2019

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — An African American elected official in north Mississippi says he thinks a city’s annexation plan could diminish black political power.

Starkville Alderman Henry Vaughn says taking in more territory could increase the strength of five wards that have been represented by white aldermen while decreasing the strength of two wards with black aldermen.

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill tells the Commercial Dispatch that redistricting is “nothing more than an opportunity for the city to grow.”

The 2010 Census showed Starkville’s population was 59.6% white, 34.6% black and 5.7% other. Combined with the annexation area, the city would become 60.2% white, 34.1 % black and 5.8% other.

With or without annexation, Starkville officials will redraw aldermen ward lines after the 2020 Census to balance out other population changes.

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Information from: The Commercial Dispatch, http://www.cdispatch.com

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