By NEMS Daily Journal
Two incumbent Lee County mayors won bids for new terms at the helm of their city governments, while another incumbent in Booneville lost his race for re-election in Tuesday’s runoffs.
The open mayor’s seat in Amory, meanwhile, went to a political newcomer.
Baldwyn Mayor Michael James and Shannon Mayor Ronnie Hallmark will continue serving after their Democratic primary runoff victories. Neither has general election opposition.
In Shannon, incumbent Hallmark received 63 percent of the vote, 232 to 135, to defeat Bill Curtis, a former mayor.
“I just feel very humbled and blessed that the people of Shannon have the confidence in me to let me serve four more years as mayor,” Hallmark said. “I think we have the best citizens in the county right here in our small town and I’m honored to serve them.”
He said now that the election is over, he’s ready to get to work on a sewer lagoon improvement project. This will be Hallmark’s third term.
James took 57 percent of the vote in Baldwyn, defeating Roslynn Clark Copeland 727 to 554.
James is currently finishing his first term in office. He was not available for comment.
Booneville voters chose challenger Derrick Blythe with 52 percent of the vote over incumbent Joe Eaton, 925 to 846, for the Democratic nomination. Blythe will face Republican nominee Lindell “Lin” Floyd in the June 4 general election.
“I’m overwhelmed by the support the community put behind me,” said Blythe, a chiropractor. “They spoke and the message was clear. They wanted change, and they wanted it at the top.”
Blythe asked for continued support against Floyd, who won the GOP nomination in the first primary May 7. Floyd also said voters are looking for change, and “we need someone who has a relationship with Jackson to bring jobs to Booneville and Prentiss County.” Floyd is special assistant and legislative director for Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
Defeated incumbent Eaton could not be reached for comment.
Amory turned back the effort of a former mayor, Thomas Griffith, to reclaim the seat in favor of Brad Blalock, who will be new to elective office.
Blalock received 1,210 votes, or 63 percent, to Griffith’s 696 votes. There is no opposition in the June 4 general election.
“I’m really excited and ready to work hard to put Amory back on the map. I want to thank the voters, my family, and Mr. Griffith for running a clean race,” Blalock said.
Blalock will replace two-term mayor Howard Boozer, who decided not to seek re-election.