Mississippi Voters Decide Mayoral Runoffs

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

In Philadelphia, former Neshoba County supervisor James Young led incumbent Mayor Rayburn Waddell in a tight Democratic Party runoff Tuesday.

Young leads Waddell by a 1,011 vote to 970 vote margin. The city clerk's office said Wednesday morning that the total includes absentee ballots, but there are 44 affidavit ballots still outstanding.

If elected, Young would be the first black mayor of the city. The winner will hold the office since there is no general election opponent.

In Newton, insurance agency owner David Carr led incumbent Michael Pickens in the Democratic runoff. The winner will face independent Robert Moore June 2.

Former Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr., defeated councilman Marshand Crisler in Tuesday's Democratic Party runoff.

Johnson will face a Republican and four independent candidates in the June 2 general election. The 62-year-old Johnson served two terms as Jackson mayor before being unseated by Frank Melton in 2005.

Johnson led a crowded May 5 primary. Melton, who came in distant third, died two days after the primary.

In Starkville, 28-year-old attorney Parker Wiseman was leading Matt Cox in the Democratic Party primary runoff. Incumbent Dan Camp was eliminated in the first primary. Wiseman faces Republican Marnita Henderson, a political newcomer, in the general election.

In Canton, physician William Truly was elected mayor, defeating two-term incumbent Fred Esco in the Democratic primary. Truly is a former alderman who lost to Esco in the 2005 race. Truly's has no general election opposition.

In Bay St. Louis, Les Fillingame defeated Mike Weems in the Democratic runoff for mayor. Fillingame will face Republican Lisa Cowand and independent Tad Black in the general election. Mayor Eddie Favre did not run for re-election.

In Moss Point, alderwoman Aneice Liddell defeated Robert Norvel in Democratic runoff. The 53-year-old Liddell will face independent candidates Jerry Redmond and Grady Bryant in the general election. Mayor Xavier Bishop did not seek re-election.

In Picayune, state Sen. Ezell Lee beat former councilman Mark Thorman in the Democratic runoff for mayor. Lee has been in the Legislature for 22 years and was elected to the Senate in 1992. He faces Republican Ed Pinero in the general election.

Incumbent mayors in Fulton and Holly Springs each were elected to a third term. Fulton Mayor Paul Walker beat challenger James J. McDonald in the Democratic primary and Holly Springs Mayor Andre DeBerry beat Barry Thomas, also in a Democratic primary. Neither has opposition in the general election.

New Albany Mayor Tim Kent survived a tight contest against Betsey Hamilton to win the Democratic nomination and earn a spot on the June 2 general election ballot.

In Olive Branch, incumbent Mayor Sam Rikard beat Republican challenger Jessie Medlin in the runoff. The winner will face Independent Randy K. Smith and Democrat Dale A.J. Bradshaw in the general election.

In Petal, teacher Hal Marx beat Joe McMurry in the Republican Party runoff for mayor. Incumbent Mayor Carl Scott lost in the first primary. There are no independent or Democratic candidates running for mayor in the general election.

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