DeSoto County voters went to the polls Tuesday to make a statement of their city leaders: they like the direction their respective cities are going.
Incumbent mayors in Southaven and Horn Lake won re-election as they beat back challenges. Hernando Mayor-elect Chip Johnson was unopposed, as was incumbent Mayor Keidron Henderson in the Town of Walls.
Olive Branch voted in a new mayor as Republican Ken Adams defeated Democrat Donald Hall to replace outgoing Mayor Scott Phillips.
In Southaven, Mayor Darren Musselwhite was re-elected to another four-year term as he outpolled challenger Tommy Henley 2,567-1,411. Musselwhite will begin his third four-year term in office.
Tuesday was the second time Musselwhite had faced a challenge from Henley, a Southaven business owner. Four years ago, Musselwhite soundly defeated Henley in the Republican primary on his way to re-election. This year, Henley chose to run as an independent to avoid a primary. Democrats did not have a candidate in the race.
Henley did carry Southaven’s Ward 2 by a 356-249 margin, however Musselwhite held the advantage in the other five wards in Southaven, with the largest difference of 834-278 in Ward 6.
Also set to start his third term is incumbent Horn Lake Mayor Allen Latimer, who had to beat back two challengers in Democrat Jimmy Stokes II and independent Cole Bostick.
Latimer finished with a total of 1,079 votes to 883 for Stokes and 365 for Bostick.
Stokes won in Ward 1 by a 157-144 margin over Latimer with Bostick getting 60 votes. Stokes also carried Ward 5 with 163 votes, 53 votes for Latimer and 21 for Bostick. The incumbent mayor carried the other four wards in Horn Lake.
Adams, a retired municipal court judge and retired corporate security management director for FedEx, carried all six wards in Olive Branch to defeat Hall, Planning Commission Vice Chairman and businessman, by a 3,325-1,622 count.
Hall was trying to make history Tuesday and become the first African-American mayor in the DeSoto County city.
Chip Johnson, running unopposed after defeating outgoing Mayor Tom Ferguson in the April primary, is returning to City Hall after a four-year hiatus. Johnson lost to Ferguson in the 2019 municipal election.
Keidron Henderson was awarded his second term as Mayor of the Town of Walls as he also ran unopposed.
Now, a look at the results in the Board of Aldermen races across DeSoto County.
SOUTHAVEN: Ward 3 Aldermen George Payne will now become Alderman At Large with his 2,968-1,005 victory over challenger Brandy Gull. Payne carried all six wards by sizable margins.
In his place, William Jerome will become the new Ward 3 Alderman with his 422-91 victory over Arthur McLaurin.
Ward 2 Alderman Charlie Hoots won re-election over Nathan Reed 434-166 and Ward 5 Alderman John David Wheeler returns to his seat with a 568-238 victory over challenger April Wright. Ward 6 Alderman Raymond Flores, Jr. also won re-election with a 828-292 win over Pamela McKelvy Hamner.
Kristian Kelly was unopposed in Ward 1 and Joel Gallagher went without opposition in Ward 4.
The entire Board of Aldermen in Southaven remains Republican in representation.
OLIVE BRANCH: Republican incumbents were all returned to the city’s governing body. George Collins returns as Alderman At Large over Vanessa Caswell 3,180-1,709; Gil Earhart was re-elected in Ward 1 over Michael Chandler 737-458; Alderwoman Pat Hamilton won in Ward 2 over Theresa Gillespie Isom 839-402; incumbent Ward 3 Alderwoman Joy Henderson returns with a 513-332 victory over Jarvis Antonio Cook; and Ward 5 Alderwoman Jan Aldridge beat out Dianne Black for re-election by a 286-168 margin.
David Wallace in Ward 4 and Dale Dickerson in Ward 6 both were unopposed as they gained re-election.
HORN LAKE: New representation on the Board of Aldermen will come from Danny Klein, David Young, and Robby Dupree, all Republicans.
Klein becomes the new Alderman At Large with his 1,329-963 victory over William E. Egner. Klein carried five of six wards with Egner taking Ward 5.
Young, who defeated outgoing Ward 4 Alderman Charlie Roberts in the April Republican primary, had a strong challenge from Democrat Lisa Hall-Hayes, but claimed a 149-122 victory.
Dupree, who ousted incumbent Republican Alderman John E. Jones Jr in the Ward 6 primary, will take the seat following a 303-246 victory over Democrat Charlotte Armstrong.
Republican incumbents Michael Guice, Tommy Bledsoe, Jackie Bostick, and Democrat LaShonda Johnson were all re-elected. Guice won in Ward 1 over Lindsay Larson 193-163, Bledsoe re-took Ward 2 over Torrence Moore 402-232, Bostick defeated Maria Morano in Ward 3 by a 177-80 count, Johnson was unopposed in Ward 5.
HERNANDO: Independent incumbent Alderman Andrew Miller won the only contested race of the evening with a 216-65 victory in Ward 2 over Republican Jarrett Mashaw.
WALLS: The five candidates for the Board of Aldermen who won election or reelection Tuesday night were Democrats Calvin Farmer, Dr. Leslie Burl-McLemore, Keith White, and Regina Barnes Young, along with Republican Bruno Lauer. Vote totals for the winning candidates were reported Wednesday morning and are included in the spreadsheet linked below.