Desoto County News

Primaries set stage for June municipal votes

SOUTHAVEN:  Incumbent Mayor Darren Musswhite, seeking a third term in office, was unopposed in Tuesday’s Republican primary vote. Musselwhite will be paired against independent Tommy Henley in the June general election. Musselwhite defeated Henley in the 2017 Republican primary election and won the mayoral position as there were no Democrats on the ballot four years ago. 

There were no Democratic primaries Tuesday night, only Republicans on the Southaven ballot.  

Current Ward 3 Alderman George Payne will face Democrat Brandy Gull for Alderman at Large in June, as Payne won the Republican primary and there was no Democratic primary vote.  Payne defeated Austin Jack Griffin 1,865-267 in the primary Tuesday night. Current Alderman at Large William Brooks chose not to run for re-election. 

Ward 1 Alderman Kristian Kelly won re-election with a 209-82 victory over Jennifer Brackin in the GOP primary and with no Democrats running in the ward.  

Ward 2 Alderman Charlie Hoots had no Republican opposition and will face Democrat Nathan Reed in June. 

With Payne now running for Alderman at Large, the wide-open Ward 3 seat will be contested in June between Republican William Jerome and Democrat Arthur McLaurin. Jerome outpolled Tim Allred 219-155 and McLaurin had no primary opposition.  

In Ward 4, current Alderman Joel Gallagher was re-elected with a 218-119 victory over Brad Hodge. Les Hooper finished third with 80 votes. There is no Democrat running for the seat, so Gallagher has been returned to the Southaven board.  

The Ward 5 Republican primary was a race between current Alderman John David Wheeler and former alderman Scott Ferguson. Wheeler beat Ferguson 318-153 and will face Democrat April Wright in June.  

Raymond Flores Jr., the current Ward 6 Alderman, defeated Kevin Wayne Tackett in Tuesday’s Republican primary vote 390-145. Flores now faces Democrat Pam McKelvy Hamner in the June general election.  

HERNANDO: Likely the most-watched primary election vote of the night was the Republican primary for mayor between current Mayor Tom Ferguson and the man he defeated for the post four years ago, former mayor Chip Johnson. This time, it was Johnson who won, defeating Ferguson 1,731-1,281 and was elected mayor with no Democratic opposition awaiting Johnson.  

As in Southaven, there was no Democratic primary vote held Tuesday and all of the candidates who were on the primary election ballot were elected or re-elected, except for the Ward 2 Alderman race between independent incumbent Alderman Andrew Miller, Democrat Gary Williams, and Republican Jarret Mashaw, who polled 288 votes and was unopposed on Tuesday.  There will also be a run-off vote for the Ward 6 post.  

Alderman at Large W.I. “Doc” Harris won re-election over Ward 6 Alderman Jeff Hobbs by a 1,594-1,342 count. Hobbs chose to challenge Harris instead of running for re-election.  

Natalie Lynch, appointed to fill the vacant Ward 1 post with the passing of Sonny Bryant last December, will serve a full four-year term with her 322-117 GOP primary victory over challenger Chris Tong.  

Bruce Robinson will be a new member of the Board of Aldermen representing Ward 3 with his 301-185 primary result over Dustin Austein. Robin Cotton finished third with 54 votes.  

Chad Wicker will be the new Ward 4 Alderman with his 330-238 Republican primary win over Mitch Lemmon and with no Democrats on the ballot. Current Alderman and state Sen. Michael McLendon was not on the ballot. 

The new Ward 5 Alderwoman in Hernando will be Beth Rone Ross, a 353-193 winner over Leslie Bierman in the Republican primary.  

Ward 6 Alderman will be determined in a run-off between Ben Piper and Ryan Diffie, with Piper receiving 267 votes to Diffie’s 208 votes. Dale Bellflower finished third with 81 votes.  

HORN LAKE: As of Wednesday morning, the city will see two Republican primary run-off elections on April 27, although the counting of affidavit ballots may cut that in half.  

Danny Klein outpolled Chad Engelke 525-326 in the Republican primary race for Alderman at Large with Regina Morris finishing third with 202 votes. Klein’s 49.86 percent vote is not enough to win election, but affidavit votes were still to be counted on Wednesday. A change in the outcome could push the margin over the 50 percent plus one vote needed for victory. If not, Klein and Engelke would be on a run-off election ballot. 

The Republican winner will face Democrat William Egner, a 264-235 winner over Francis J. Miller on Tuesday.  

The Republican primary vote in Ward 4 will definitely head to a run-off between current Alderman Charlie Roberts and challenger David Young. Roberts polled 64 votes to Young’s 55 votes and George Dixon with 20 votes.  

The run-off winner will face Democratic challenger Lisa Hall-Hayes, who was unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.  

Current Mayor Allen Latimer held off a challenge from Alderman Donnie “Chigger” White and will be on the June ballot in a bid for re-election. Latimer defeated White 693-366 and faces Democrat Jimmy Stokes II and independent D. Cole Bostick for mayor in June.  

The Ward 1 Alderman race in June will be between incumbent Michael Guice, a 94-40 Republican primary winner over Dustin Gentry, and Democrat Lindsey Larson, who ran unopposed in Tuesday’s vote.  

Incumbent Alderman Tommy Bledsoe defeated James Eubanks 217-126 to be the GOP candidate against Democrat Torrence Moore in June.  

Republican incumbent Ward 3 Alderman Jackie Bostick outpolled Jessica Randle 85-36 with Kerry Rakestraw third with 19 votes. Bostick meets Democrat Maria Morano in the June general election.  

Ward 5 Alderwoman LaShonda Johnson will return to the Board of Alderman in Horn Lake with Tuesday’s 116-27 Democratic primary win over challenger Lukischa Lambert. No Republicans were on the ballot. 

And, in Ward 6, a new Alderman will soon be in the chair as incumbent John Jones Jr. was defeated by Robby Dupree 153-113 with John Whyte taking third with nine votes. Dupree meets Democrat Charlotte Armstrong for the position in the June election.  

OLIVE BRANCH AND WALLS: There were no primary party challenges in Olive Branch so all of the qualified candidates advanced to the June election. The same is true in the Town of Walls, which has no ward divisions. The number of Democratic and Republican who qualified failed to force a primary vote on Tuesday. All of the board candidates who qualified will be on the June election ballot in Walls.  

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