PONTOTOC – Voters here will be among the few in Northeast Mississippi to decide a head-to-head mayor’s race this week.
Incumbent Bill Rutledge and challenger Jeff Stafford will meet in Tuesday’s two-man Democratic primary. The winner will have no opposition in the June 2 general election.
Rutledge is going after his fourth term as mayor. If elected, he says, his priorities will be job expansion and recruitment; infrastructure improvement; and public safety.
Stafford, a former alderman, said he will work to develop better teamwork, lower gas and sewer rates, and increase employment to 95 percent.
While at least 21 municipalities in the area will hold party primaries Tuesday, only Pontotoc, Guntown, Mantachie and Bruce are assured of seeing their mayors selected. That’s because each has a two-person primary whose winner will have no opposition on June 2.
In Baldwyn, incumbent Danny Horton, who is seeking his second term, is being challenged by Michael James; Mantachie Mayor Jeff Butler is on the ballot with Ricky Windham; and Jessey Higdon and Robert Edward Oakley are vying for the job in Bruce.
Other municipalities have either at least three candidates in the primary, or candidates with no opposition until the June 2 general election. In some cases, mayors are unopposed throughout the process.
To win a primary outright, a candidate must get a majority of the votes cast – 50 percent plus one. Otherwise, the top two candidates move to a May 19 runoff.
NEMS Daily Journal