- Associated Press - Monday, February 9, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler has qualified for the GOP nomination for State Auditor against incumbent Stacy Pickering.

The Madison County Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1CMhPYz ) Hawkins-Butler said Monday that she will release a full statement before week’s end.

Pickering filed on Jan. 6 and has served two terms as State Auditor, which is responsible for auditing public accounts and conducting investigations of public agencies to ensure accountability.

Hawkins-Butler, serving her ninth term as mayor, is challenging Pickering in the Aug. 4. GOP primary.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (https://on.thec-l.com/1DYtgt7 ) Hawkins-Butler was first elected mayor in 1981 at age 26, while Pickering, a former state senator, was re-elected auditor in 2011.

As auditor, Pickering has recovered more than $21 million in embezzled or misspent public funds and received national awards for his work.

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