Affidavit count decides Guntown board seat

GUNTOWN – After two days of waiting, the Guntown Board of Aldermen learned Thursday who its fifth member will be.
Candidates Mickey Kuykendall and Jacqueline Shumpert, along with about 20 supporters, piled into the Town Hall board room at noon thinking their race would be decided by the drawing of checkers. The two had tied with 120 votes each in Tuesday’s general election.
Under state law, the tie was to be decided by the drawing rather than a runoff.
Seven affidavits had been disqualified earlier because of improper registration of the voters, but City Clerk Shelly McKee notified the crowd that some of the disqualified ballots were actually legitimate.

Nervous candidates
“I’m more nervous today than I was on election night,” Shumpert said after being told she’d have to return at 2 p.m. after the legitimate ballots were counted. “I’ll be glad when this is over.”
Kuykendall felt the same way, saying he hoped the 2 p.m. count would be fast.
Of the seven affidavits in question, three were good votes, and Kuykendall took the victory, 122-120.
“I’m glad that’s over,” said Kuykendall. “The hard part was having to come back here to hear the results after we thought a checker was going to be drawn. I’m glad I won and I’m ready to serve the people of Guntown.”
McKee is also glad it’s over. This is her first election as a city clerk.
“I guess I got broken in real good on my first election,” she said. “I’m glad everything is settled.”

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal