By Journal Newspapers
NEW ALBANY – Incumbent Tim Kent won the Democratic primary in the New Albany mayor’s race Tuesday, effectively making him the next mayor.
Kent received 1,152 votes, or 56 percent, to challenger Bill Robertson’s 903, or 44 percent.
Kent sought another term running mostly on his record, while challenger Robertson cited his financial and business management experience to help run the city more efficiently.
“I feel very humbled that the people of New Albany trust me to lead the city for four more years,” Kent said. “Our tourism and retail sales tax are up, and things are looking good for the future. I am going to focus on continuing to get jobs and a goal is to beautify Bankhead West to Highway 30.”
There is no Republican challenger. Turnout, expected to be high because of the mayor’s race and the open race for chief of police, was 45.6 percent.
In the police chief race, Chris Robertson will replace longtime chief David Grisham for the next four years. Robertson defeated fellow officer Mark Golding with 1,431 votes to Golding’s 637 in the Democratic primary Tuesday. Grisham announced he would not be seeking re-election after 32 years.
Pontotoc incumbent Stafford re-elected
PONTOTOC – Unofficial results in Tuesday’s municipal Democratic primary showed incumbent Jeff Stafford winning re-election to a second term as Pontotoc’s mayor.
Stafford appears to have defeated former 12-year alderman-at-large Bob Peeples. Unofficial results showed Stafford with 703 votes and Peeples with 641 votes. Eleven affidavit ballots were to be counted today.
Amory mayor race heads to runoff
AMORY – Political newcomer Brad Blalock and former mayor Thomas Griffith advanced to the May 21 runoff in Amory’s Democratic mayoral primary.
Blalock received 918 votes and Griffith 797 votes. At- large alderman Tommy Wilkerson received 660 votes.
The winner of the May 21 runoff will replace mayor Howard Boozer, who decided not to seek re-election.
“I’m feeling great and thankful to the voters and to my opponents for a clean race. I am looking forward to seeing everyone again in a couple of weeks,” Blalock said.
Griffith said, “We are so glad this was a clean race. I appreciate everyone’s help and will be getting prepared for the runoff.”
Eaton, Blythe in Booneville runoff
BOONEVILLE – Mayor Joe Eaton and Democratic challenger Derrick Blythe are headed to a May 21 runoff with unofficial primary election vote totals showing them neck-and-neck. Eaton received 728 votes and Blythe 721 votes. The third Democratic challenger, Jon Hill, received 280 votes.
The runoff winner will face Republican Lindell “Lin” Floyd in the June 4 general election. Floyd beat his primary opponent, Ron Kirk, 73 to 14 .
Eaton, 56, is a one-term mayor who previously served two separate terms as an alderman. He also was a supervisor in industry and a business owner for many years.
Blythe, 44, is making is first run for public office, and is owner of Booneville Chiropractic Clinic.
Incumbent Houston mayor wins easily
HOUSTON – With races for mayor, chief of police and two aldermen up for grabs, there was a steady turnout at the polls for city elections Tuesday.
Incumbent Mayor Stacey Parker easily defeated challenger and first time candidate Terry Taylor, 665 to 157.
“We’ve done some things in Houston over the last four years,” said Parker. “We did a $1.5 million bond issue that paved 10-plus streets. We’ve done a lot to strengthen our parks and recreation program and paved the walking track at Joe Brigance.”
In another hotly contested race, voters saw Democrats Billy Voyles and Robert “Preacher” Ivy squaring off at the polls for the post of city marshal. Incumbent Voyles won with 676 votes to Ivy’s 249.
Okolona incumbent mayor keeps post
OKOLONA – The Okolona mayor’s race was neck-and-neck all night, but incumbent Louise Cole inched ahead for the unofficial win.
Prior to absentee ballots being counted, Cole received 450 votes to former Mayor Sherman Carouther’s 455 votes. After everything was counted, Cole had 504 and Carouthers 471.
Oxford mayor wins nomination
OXFORD – Incumbent Mayor George “Pat” Patterson won the Democratic nomination 1,351 to 194 against first-time challenger Jason Plunk. He will face independent Todd Wade in the June 4 general election.
Patterson and Wade are both business owners and real estate investors. Patterson has leveraged his experience and eight years on the Board of Aldermen to develop a reputation as a strong fiscal manager. He points out that the city has neither raised taxes nor laid off workers during challenging economic times.
While Patterson has handed off the day-to-day management of his interests while working as a full-time mayor, Wade has challenged them both to divest themselves of real estate holdings within the city.