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franklin county times

Mayor confident in 3rd District appeal

By By William F. West / community editor
Nov. 24, 2002
Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith said he's confident that the lines in Mississippi's 3rd District will withstand scrutiny by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Smith led a group of Mississippi Republicans who filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, and won a congressional redistricting plan critics claim is biased in favor of U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering.
Smith said he became involved in the suit because the redistricting plans he had seen were not in Meridian and Lauderdale County's best interests.
Smith said it was important to keep Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus and the Interstate 20 corridor in the same district as the city. At the same time, he said, it was also important to place Naval Air Station Meridian and Columbus Air Force Base in separate districts because of competing interests.
Smith, asked about those who contend the redistricting fight is not over, said, "One can always appeal."