Posts Tagged ‘Biloxi’


10 choices for Biloxi voters for mayor

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Voters in Biloxi go to the polls to elect the mayor of Mississippi’s fifth largest city today. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will meet in a run-off on May 12.

Ten candidates are running to fill the seat vacated by A.J. Holloway’s resignation in March:

· Victor Ainsworth

· David Bull

· Cono Caranna

· “FoFo” Gilich

· Felix O. Gines

· Kenny Glavan

· Pat Morris

· Dixie Newman

· W.S. “Windy” Swetman, III

· Paul Tisdale

From the Sun Herald’s coverage of the race:

The candidate list is one of the most diverse in Biloxi’s history and because it’s a special election, candidates don’t run as Republican or Democrat.

Four of the five council members first elected in 2013 are running:

· Gines, elected to the council on his third try, is in the Air National Guard.

· Glavan is manager of Sheraton Four Points hotel in Biloxi.

· Dixie Newman has rallied public and private support to revitalize Hiller Park.

· Paul Tisdale is former superintendent of Biloxi School District.

Two are current or former officials of Harrison County:

· Cono Caranna II, former district attorney, said he will serve the two-year term without pay.

· Windy Swetman III, a county supervisor, organized and opened a senior center in East Biloxi.

Several are business members in Biloxi:

· Victor Ainsworth ran against Fayard for council in 2013 and works for Swetman at Swetman Security.

· Bull owns Bernie’s Restaurant in Biloxi; he ran against Holloway in the last election.

· Andrew “FoFo” Gilich is a software engineer who has run against Holloway for mayor.

· Pat Morris was a member of former Gov. Haley Barbour’s and Holloway’s commissions after Hurricane Katrina and now is assistant to the director at Keesler’s Fisher House.




MS Mayor Elections to Watch - Top 10 Cities

Monday, May 6th, 2013

I was a guest last night on WLBT’s Red Blue Review with Jere Nash to fill in for Andy Taggart and we talked mayor races around the state.  Here are the notes I put together before going on the air.  They look at the top 10 cities in the state; five races with sitting legislators; as well as a handful of other races.

Top Ten Cities by Population*

10) Clinton – Five-term incumbent Mary Rosemary Aultman is not seeking reelection. 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats are in the race. Republican city, likely determined in GOP primary between: former alderman and current Hinds County Supervisor Phil Fisher; alderman Tony Hisaw and former state College Board member (Fordice appointee) Ricki Garrett. Garrett, former ED of MS Nurses Association has an education, health care coalition and gender aside, seems most like the current mayor. I expect Garrett and Fisher in a run-off with the winner beating the Dem nominee in June.

9 ) Horn Lake – Two-term Republican Mayor Nat Baker is seeking reelection. He is being challenged by former DeSoto County Supervisor Allen Latimer and political newcomer Jerry Lee Porter. The Democratic primary (Hester McCray-Jackson) is uncontested. Likely the race is between Baker and Latimer.

8 ) Olive Branch – Four-term incumbent Sam Rikard is not seeking reelection. There are five candidates in the race – all Republicans: Republican activist Brian Hodges, Anthony Holland, six-term DeSoto Supervisor Jessie Medlin, assistant fire chief Scott Phillips and Art Shumway. Likely a run-off – Medlin has an advantage and barely lost to Rikard four years ago but the idea of additional costs for a special election (to fill his supervisor seat were he to win) has become an issue.

7) Tupelo – Incumbent Republican Jack Reed, Jr. not seeking reelection. This is one of two shots Democrats have at a pick-up in June. City Council President, Republican Fred Pitts (age 70) versus personal injury lawyer and Democrat Jason Shelton (age 36). Has become a partisan race with Pitts noting that Shelton is a liberal Democrat who attended President Obama’s inauguration and supported Hillary Clinton. As far as the age issue, Pitts said “70 is the new 50.”

6) Meridian – This is the top potential pickup for Democrats. Four years ago current mayor Cheri Barry won with 51% over Democrat Percy Bland – just 114 votes difference. Both Barry and Bland face challenges in the primary and both are expected to win their respective nominations – but there are three independents in the race on June 4 which could hurt Republican Barry. Bland is denying rumors that Noxubee County Democratic Party boss Ike Brown who was convicted of violating voting rights by the Justice Department is involved in his campaign. And the FBI is investigating the hanging of a stuffed animal in a noose outside Bland’s insurance agency.

5) Biloxi – Republican AJ Holloway is seeking his sixth term and faces a challenge in the GOP Primary and from a Democrat in the general but is expected to win reelection.

4) Hattiesburg – Democrat Johnny Dupree is seeking a fourth term as mayor. He should win in a walk over two challengers in the Democratic Primary. He will face four independents in the general election including perennial candidate Shawn O’Hara. His only real challenge in that race will be Dave Ware, a two term city councilman, but I expect Dupree to win reelection.

3) Southaven – Embattled incumbent Greg Davis, previously a Republican and now an Independent, will face the Republican and Democratic nominees in the general election. The race to watch is the Republican Primary featuring Josh Anderson, Gerald Clifton, Mark Gardner, Christopher Klass, Darren Musselwhite and Jerald Wheeler. I expect Gardner – a Desoto county supervisor – and Musselwhite will face in a run-off. There are still some powerful political forces supporting Davis in DeSoto County but I anticipate the winner of the Republican Primary winning the general there as well.

2) Gulfport – Incumbent Mayor George Schloegel isn’t running for reelection and former Senator Billy Hewes – who served as President Pro Tem of the Senate under then Lt Gov Phil Bryant and lost the Republican Primary for Lt Gov to Tate Reeves in 2011 is running unopposed.

1) Jackson – I try not to predict the outcome of Democratic primaries, but it seems to me the race for the run-off is between incumbent Mayor Harvey Johnson, businessman Jonathan Lee and City Councilman Chokwe Lumumba. Whoever wins the run-off will face three independents but essentially the primary is the race to win.

Top 10 Predictions – Current partisan standings: GOP 8; Dem 2 – after the elections, the Dems could pick up 1 possibly 2 seats but I’m hoping to hold steady. (When Southaven Mayor Greg Davis qualified for reelection as an Independent, the numbers are technically 7-2-1.) The GOP put a lot of effort into Tupelo and Meridian four years ago and I think they will need to do so again.

*Not counting Greenville which has its municipal elections off cycle.

Other Notes: (Primary – May 7 — Run-Off – May 21 — General – June 4)

–Three of the four Democratic candidates for Governor in 2013 are running for Mayor. Johnny Dupree for reelection in Hattiesburg; Bill Luckett in Clarksdale; and Bill Compton in Meridian.

–A number of supervisors and state representatives are running for mayor, any of which were to win would necessitate special elections to fill their seats.

Legislators Running For Mayor

Five Democratic state representatives are running for mayor of their home towns. Kelvin Buck (Dist 5) in Holly Springs; Chuck Espy (Dist 26) in Clarksdale; George Flaggs (Dist 55) in Vicksburg; Omeria Scott (Dist 80) in Laurel; and Billy Broomfield (Dist 110) in Moss Point.

Holly Springs – Democratic incumbent Mayor Andre DeBerry seeking fourth term, ten years as alderman before mayor. Kelvin Buck in his third term in House District 5.

Clarksdale – Three Democrats, one Republican, two independents running but the real race is in the Democratic Primary between Rep Chuck Espy and businessman/attorney Bill Luckett. Espy is the son of current Mayor Henry Espy; Luckett a business partner with Morgan Freeman.

Vicksburg – Decided in Democratic Primary: Rep George Flaggs in the legislature since 1988; incumbent Mayor Paul Winfield recently settled a sexual harassment lawsuit and still faces a federal bribery indictment; businesswoman and former legal prostitute and Neveda brothel owner Linda Fondren; former Warren County supervisor John Ferguson; former alderwoman Gertrude Young; and David Day. Daryl Hollingsworth is running as an independent. Advantage goes to George Flaggs.

Laurel – Incumbent Democratic Mayor Melvin Mack not seeking reelection, instead running for Ward Seven Council seat. Democratic Primary: Rep Omeria Scott, Councilman Johnny Magee, Fire Chief Alfred Jordan. Independent Kevin Keyes, retired fireman.

Moss Point – Incumbent Mayor Aneice Liddell faces Elizabeth Irby and State Rep Billy Broomfield in Democratic Primary. The winner faces independents Dobbs Dennis and John Mosely Jr in June.

Note: We already have had (or will have) six special legislative elections this year so far; four in the House and two in the Senate. Could result in even greater turnover. The number of Dem reps running for mayor may demonstrate dissatisfaction with being in the minority in the legislature although some, like Espy and Flaggs, have worked well with Republicans.

Other Elections:

Madison – Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler has molded Madison by her vision for 32 years as mayor. During that time she has made lots of friends, and some enemies. She is being challenged by second term Madison Supervisor John Bell Crosby. Totally a referendum on Butler who I anticipate winning.

Byram – First city election – three running for mayor: Independent Richard White who served as a state Senator from the area as a Republican; Democrat Kevin Lavine and Republican Phil Rodgers. They will meet in the general election – no primary for mayor.

Brandon – Alderman Butch Lee was running without opposition for mayor of Brandon. In March, Mayor Tim Coulter resigned so the Board of Alderman could go ahead and appoint Lee mayor. So no primary there. But an interesting race for alderman-at-large with incumbent Republican James Morris and Vaughn Galloway facing Mississippi Tea Party State Chairman Roy Nicholson. Tea Party activists across the state have been helping him so this will be a measure of Tea Party strength on the local level.

Canton – Republican Primary: Chip Matthews and Lorriane Levy. Nominee will be hard pressed to defeat the Democratic nominee. That primary features: incumbent Dr. William Truly, insurance agent Arnel Bolden, former mayor Fred Esco jr and businessman Greg Green. At the request of Madison DA Michael Guest, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann will send monitors to Canton for the primary. Four years ago, Guest’s office indicted and convicted half a dozen individuals for fraud after receiving multiple complaints after the election. All pleaded guilty and the sentences varied from suspended sentence to over 10 years in prison.

Ocean Springs – Connie Moran squeaked out a victory four years ago in an election that had many Republicans suggesting fraudulent shenanigans, but she defeated a Republican opponent who outspent her significantly. This year she faces Republican Jackson County Supervisor John McKay. Moran has been working hard in the reelection campaign and had a fundraiser hosted by Attorney General Jim Hood.

Ridgeland – Republican Mayor Gene McGee is unopposed in the primary and general.

Starkville – Incumbent Mayor Parker Wiseman expected to win the Democratic Primary against former alderwoman Mary Lee Beal. He then faces a challenge by Republican Dan Moreland in the general election.

Oxford – Incumbent Mayor George Patterson expected to win the Democratic Primary against challenger Jason Plunk, but faces an organized campaign by former Ole Miss football standout and retired NFL player Todd Wade running as an independent.


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