Desoto County News

Adams announces re-election run for Olive Branch mayor

We are still about a year away from the next election for municipal leaders in DeSoto County and one of the current city leaders will officially announce his intentions for 2025 at a Thursday, June 13 event.  

Olive Branch Mayor Ken Adams is in the middle of his first term leading the city and at Thursday’s event announced his plans to run for a second term.  

Adams was elected in 2021 when Scott Phillips chose not to run for re-election. Prior to his election, Adams was a municipal court judge in Olive Branch and a DeSoto County Justice Court judge after a career with FedEx as Managing Corporate Security Director. 

Ken Adams

When asked about his reasons for running for mayor again, Adams said he has a passion to make Olive Branch grow. 

“As long as you have that sparkle in your eye and love for the people, you need to stay and serve them,” Adams said. “I still have that, I enjoy it tremendously.”

Adams points to a number of improvements that have happened during his first term that he wants to keep working on.  

“I want to see some of the new things that we have started, such as a new fire station, animal shelter, public works building, and pickleball,” said Adams. “These are things that we’ve started in the last 18 months that I want to see finalized.”

Adams said the city is in the middle of the largest resurfacing street project ever, pointing out Olive Branch has about 383 miles of roads with 240 miles of that total being maintained by the city. 

“The most the city had ever spent on roads before was $1.25 million and we’ve spent $13 million in the last 18 months trying to address roads and get them in better shape,” Adams noted, adding the city has also budgeted $33 million in water and sewer improvements and has contracts pending in that area.

He also wants to provide natural gas service to those parts of the city, especially on the east side, that had no service before but now need to be serviced.   

The mayor came into office as Olive Branch was just finishing its annexation of about 18.8 square miles of previously unincorporated DeSoto County land. The annexation made Olive Branch the state’s second largest city with a total area of 56 square miles.  With the added land, added challenges have come about for the city.  

“I wasn’t here when that took place, but I’m the face of it now,”  said Adams. “As far as providing services, we are diligently working to do that, and we are OK.”

Keeping public safety the number one priority in Olive Branch remains at the top of his list.  

“Over half of our budget goes to police, fire, and EMS,” Adams said. “We’ve addressed compensation as best as we can and we’re giving our men and women the tools to do their job in public safety and encouraging the crime fighters to continue to fight crime every day.” 

Another item that Adams outlined as an accomplishment as mayor is the establishment of citizen advisory committees to determine the city’s pressing needs in specific areas.

“I understand how to set the vision and how to set objectives, and I think that’s been a good thing for the city,” said Adams.  “We’re holding people accountable and milestones are set.”

Improving parks and providing park space is important to Adams in a next term, as well as a more modern way for citizens to report issues like potholes or burned out street lights, keeping the crime rate down and improving streets.  

The Thursday evening event, held at the Whispering Woods Hotel and Conference Center Ballroom, featured speakers Gov. Tate Reeves, DeSoto County Sheriff Thomas Tuggle, and Alice Marie Johnson, a criminal justice reform advocate who was pardoned by President Donald Trump.  

Reeves likened Adams’ re-election support to having a winning football coach having success.