Corinth mayor-elect eager for challenge

CORINTH – Newly elected as Corinth’s next mayor, Tommy Irwin is eager to begin the work voters chose him to do.
“It was a good finish, and I’m excited about the work” come November, Irwin said Wednesday. “I had a formidable opponent who has given a lot of good service to the community.”
Irwin, a retired businessman in his first political election, defeated four-term incumbent Mayor Jerry Latch in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. He accumulated more than double the number of votes with 2,252 votes to Latch’s 1,117 votes, figures certified by the Democratic Executive Committee on Wednesday.
“It was all about jobs and infrastructure, especially the drainage system in our city,” said Irwin, who faces no opposition in the general election, “and that’s what we’ll start on right away.”
The outgoing mayor has no regrets about his tenure or his campaign.
“I’ve been fortunate to be mayor of this great city for the past 16 years,” Latch said. “I just want to thank all my family for their support, my friends and the voters. I support the newly elected mayor who’s a fine man, and I look forward to the city’s continued growth.”
Police Chief David Lancaster was re-elected to a second full term, also by a wide margin, with 2,674 votes to opponent Chip Timbes’ 662 votes.
“I really appreciate all the support I’ve received,” Lancaster said. “It’s been overwhelming, and I look forward to serving the next four years.”
Among the priorities Lancaster will pursue are having officers meet the requirements for Corinth’s police department to be certified, a designation held by only a handful of departments throughout Mississippi.
Some other priorities will be determined by the city’s leadership, and with a new mayor and some alderman seats yet to be decided, Lancaster said he’ll wait to sit down with the new administration to set some of those goals.
“Moving into new offices at the justice center after the first of the year will mean I don’t have to worry about communication standards and jail standards but will be able to concentrate fully on law enforcement,” Lancaster said.
Uncertainty remains in the outcome of all alderman seats, but at least half of the city’s six board members will be new.
Ward 2 Alderman William “Bill” Plaxico, with 400 votes, was defeated in the Democratic primary by Preston Biggers Knight, who received 522 votes and will face Republican Ben Albarracin in the general election.
Ward 5 Alderman David Roberts, who has served one term, received 255 votes and was defeated by Michael McFall with 277 votes. McFall’s opponent in the general election is Brandon Whitley.
Ward 1 Alderman Joe Vann chose not to seek re-election. The Republican primary to choose a candidate goes to a runoff on Sept. 28 between Andrew “Bubba” Labas, 48 votes, and Mike Green, 33 votes. Candidate Charlotte E. Doehner received 20 votes.
The runoff winner will meet Democrat Kendall in the Oct. 12 general election.
Runoffs also will be required to elect the at-large and Ward 4 aldermen.
At-large incumbent Alderman Mike Hopkins, with 1,534 votes, will face Barry Richards, who received 885 votes. Candidate Jennifer Saffore McCoy with 763 votes.
Ward 4 Alderman Steve Hill will meet J.C. “Honeyboy” Hill in the runoff as well. Steve Hill garnered 326 votes to J.C. “Honeyboy” Hill’s 290 votes. Milus Copeland received 68 votes.
All three candidates in the Ward 3 election – incumbent Republican A.L. “Chip” Wood III, Democrat Samuel Perry Clark and Independent Sharon Woodruff will be on the general election ballot.
“I’m excited about getting to work,” said mayor-elect Irwin, “but we have to wait for the outcome of these runoffs and the general election to see who the team’s going to be.”

Contact Lena Mitchell at 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal