Deltaplex Radio aired a live political debate Tuesday at Pine Bluff High School’s Little Theater with numerous local political candidates in attendance.

In the Mayor’s race, Mayor Shirley Washington, Council Member Steven Mays, and Council Member Ivan Whitfield will participate in the debate.

Council Member Mays stated that Go Forward Pine Bluff and Simmons Bank brought people into town for the King Cotton Holiday Classic basketball tournament but did not give any money to help fix leaks at the Pine Bluff High School gymnasium.

“Go Forward and Simmons Bank brought all of those people into town,” Mays said. “The get $4.2Million a year, and they spend all of that money to fly them in, hotel them out, and feed them for three or four days. The gym over here, the gym at Pine Bluff High, is leaking. That’s what they think about you all. When you find out who you really are and what you can do in this city the city will be a lot better.”

Mayor Shirley Washington stated that the city can’t help fix the gym because it would be illegal to do so.

“When we are talking about the leaking of the building, we can not use tax dollars to make repairs to school facilities,” Washington said. “We can not use tax dollars for any of those things. It would be illegal. But, when it comes down to supporting education in our community, we stand firm and strong on that.”

Washington said she would work with either of her opponents if she is not elected to help transition the city into a new regime.

“If I am not the one that is nominated for this position, I will tell you I would work with either one of the two, or either one of my opponents,” Washington said. “I think that would be my civic responsibility to support whichever one is chosen if I am not elected.”

Council Member Ivan Whitfield said he believes in the people’s voice when it comes to elections.

“I believe in the people’s voice, plain and simple,” said Whitfield. “If I am not the one at the end of the day, whatever candidate comes out, that is who I will support.”

Mays wouldn’t say if he would support either of the other two candidates if they won but said he can outwork both of his opponents.

“I would look at the one that’s doing the most for the city,” said Mays. “I’m not going to make a selection without seeing their works. I can outwork both of them.”


Deltaplex Radio will replay Tuesday’s Mayoral and City Council debate Wednesday, February 12, on Oldies 101.3 FM from 6-8 p.m.