MILES WINS RUNOFF FOR DISTRICT 21 SEAT
By Bobby Harrison
Daily Journal Jackson Bureau
Bill Miles of Fulton, who had an impressive lead in the first round of voting to fill the vacant District 21 House seat, won by a comfortable margin in Tuesday’s runoff to fill the post.
Miles, 58, a private businessman and former journalist, had 1,329 votes to 646 for Philip Pearson, 32, also of Fulton. Results were complete, but unofficial.
Miles and Pearson were the top two vote-getters among six candidates who qualified to run for the seat previously held by Mike Mills.
Mills, who was elected unopposed to his fourth term in November, resigned from the state House of Representatives after being appointed by Gov. Kirk Fordice to the state Supreme Court.
In the first round of voting on Jan. 23, Miles had 1,396 votes – 975 more than Pearson. But in the six-person field, Miles did not receive a majority, necessitating Tuesday’s runoff.
In Tuesday’s voting, Miles led in both counties in the district. In Itawamba, he led 875 to 584 in unofficial returns, while in Monroe he led 454 to 62.
The district includes Aberdeen and Fulton.
Miles will be expected to go straight to work. The Legislature has been in session since Jan. 2.
Miles owns a public relations, printing and advertising business with offices in Tupelo and Amory. He previously worked for newspapers in Amory and Tupelo.
He ran on the issues of continuing to enhance technical education so that Mississippians would be ready for high-paying jobs and on his record of working in the private sector to help improve economic development. Miles has worked on various economic development projects through his advertising agency.
“I would like to see the opportunities exist for people to continue learning,” Miles said. “I feel like the community colleges are the places to provide a lot of those services.”
Pearson is vice president with 21st Century Energy. The Fulton-based company plans to convert woodwaste to electricity and sell it to power suppliers like TVA.