Longtime Democratic County Supervisor Ray Boswell has switched parties and will run as a Republican in this year's supervisor race, according to Circuit Clerk Donna Jill Johnson.

    Boswell filed his qualifying paper for the race Thursday afternoon. The deadline to qualify is Tuesday, March 1. There are four other candidates in the race; Republicans Jimmy Moore, Peter Russell, and Kyle Rutledge, and Democrat Daniel Cook.

    "My core values and beliefs have always been more in line with the Republicans," Boswell said in a written statement issued through the circuit clerk's office. "I have been the most conservative member of the board of supervisors while serving as a Democrat. I will continue as I have in the past to watch every penny spent by the county to ensure that it is spent wisely ... However, in contrast to some Republicans, I will not be bought out by special interest groups or the wealthy."

    Boswell said his priorities will continue to be job development, low taxes, better roads, and efficient government, adding that he will "continue to look out for the little man."

    Boswell has served as supervisor since the 1980s, with the exception of one term, and has been a controversial and outspoken figure in local government.

    For more on the District 5 supervisor race and all of its candidates, read Saturday's edition of The Meridian Star.

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