TUPELO – The City Council will have at least three new members at the start of the next municipal term after incumbent candidate Thomas Bonds lost in Tuesday’s primary.
He was the only incumbent to immediately lose a seat. The other four council members seeking re-election managed to stay in the race – for now.
Of the remaining four seats, the two at-large positions will be eliminated at the end of this term as the result of a court ruling, and Wards 1 and 3 will be vacated by councilmen not seeking re-election.
Bonds was defeated by Republican challenger Fred Pitts, who won 65 percent of the vote in Ward 2. Pitts advances to the general election where he’ll face Democratic opponent Shelia Nabors.
“I have been honored to have the support to be able to have tried to serve Ward 2 for four years, and I’ve been disappointed that I haven’t been able to accomplish things that I really tried to accomplish,” Bonds said after learning the results. “I’ve said all along I wasn’t really a politician … but I tried to do what was right.”
Ward 5 incumbent candidate Bill Martin heads to the May 19 primary runoff election against Republican challenger Jonny Davis. Because no Democrats ran in that ward, the runoff will decide the final winner.
Another runoff will be held in Ward 7, where Democrats Willie Allen and Willie Jennings had split the most votes.
Other incumbents – Nettie Davis of Ward 4, Mike Bryan of Ward 6 and Berdell Jones of Ward 7 – will advance to the general election to meet their challengers: Davis faces Republican Rhonds Betts; Bryan faces Democrat Scott Davis; and Jones will face either Allen or Jennings.
In Ward 1, Republican Markel Whittington will face Democrat Patsy Griffin and independent Cliff Brinkley in the general election. In Ward 3, Republican Jim Newell will face Democrat George Witherspoon.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal