The Delta: Not As Solidly Democrat?
As we noted last night, independent Chuck Jordan won the open mayor’s election in Greenville on Monday. Jordan is white and was running against Carl McGee, a African-American Democrat who serves on the city council. Greenville, as we have said, is now around 80 percent black.
An election on a Monday in the middle of December might not tell us a whole lot, but Jordan’s election is part of an interesting trend in the Delta.
In 2009, the city of Greenwood, also majority black, elected a white independent candidate- Carolyn McAdams- over the black incumbent in this case. The previous mayor? Sheriel Perkins. That last name probably sounds familiar because she is married to Willie Perkins, the long time state representative. That was an interesting race because Bennie Thompson actually took an active role in campaigning for Perkins.
A similar scenario recently played out in Indianola, but with an added twist. Steve Rosenthal, who is white and Jewish, was elected mayor over the black incumbent in the Sunflower county town that is about 75 percent black.
And in November, we saw the region elect two Republicans in their two House districts that are not majority-black. This includes Gene Alday unseating John Mayo in a district that slivers from Coahoma county, through Tunica, and over to western Desoto. And Desoto is what put Alday over as Mayo was strong in Coahoma, but not enough. By the way, the vote total is Desoto increased from around 1,800 to 4,200 over the past four years. I imagine this district will see some changes with redistricting.
In HD 28, Republican Tommy Taylor will replace outgoing Democrat David Norquist in a district that includes Bolivar, Sunflower, and Washington counties. And on the Senate side, Buck Clarke of Hollandale was re-elected to a third term in a district that includes Bolivar, Humphreys, Sharkey, Washington, and Yazoo counties and is majority black.
One other little interesting result: Issaquena county and her 500 votes actually flipped from the Democratic column in 2007 to Phil Bryant’s side as he claimed a little more than 50 percent of the vote. Eight years earlier, more than 950 people voted in the county as Ronnie Musgrove won 63 percent.
That said, Barack Obama and Bennie Thompson will still be at 65 percent in the region next November, but we have seen some less than expected election results over the past couple years.
Here was our look at Delta House seats prior to the November elections.