Any eligible voter can run as a candidate for election to the Delta State House of Assembly. Members generally serve in government or in opposition and act in agreement with party policy, although membership in a political party is not an official requirement of elected office. If a member changes parties or chooses to sit as an independent, he or she is not required to resign.
Members are elected to represent the specific interests of their constituents but are also representatives of the their local government and must consider their needs as a whole. Whatever their political outlook, and regardless of which side of the Assembly they sit on, members’ duties and obligations are considerable.
Due to their knowledge of services offered by various levels of government and community groups, members are uniquely qualified to help constituents resolve their problems.
Members need excellent interpersonal skills to understand and defend their constituents’ interests. They may need the skills of a social worker to effectively solve constituents’ pressing personal problems. Members often act as a mediator to resolve a clash of interests within their constituencies or between their constituents and other groups. They may have to advocate on behalf of the community or explain the provisions and effects of proposed legislation. They are often called upon to play a public role during local events and ceremonial occasions.