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Some Election Notes From Last Night

June 3, 2009

The race in Meridian was supposed to be a close one watched by both Republicans and Democrats, and it did not disappoint. In the end, Republican Cheri Barry narrowly defeated Democrat Percy Bland to become the first female mayor of the city.

However, if you followed the election most of the night you would probably assume that Bland had the victory running away. With 87 percent of precincts in, and just two boxes remaining, Bland had a 1500 vote lead. Not long after that, the boxes from the Poplar Springs School and Northeast Community Club precincts came in and delivered 78 percent and 87 percent of their votes to Barry, respectively.

After counting absentee and electronic votes, Barry has 4,866 votes to 4,562 to Bland.

While I have seen large turnarounds at the end of an election when the last couple precincts come in, I do not believe I have that big of a comeback, nor have I seen it play to a Republican’s advantage.

Congratulations to Ms. Barry.

Greenwood Elects Independent

Last week, Rep. Bennie Thompson was in Greenwood stumping for incumbent Democrat Sheriel Perkins. She went on to win just 43 percent of the vote, and lose to Independent challenger Carolyn McAdams.

However, Thompson did more than just campaign for Perkins; he chose to make race an issue saying that the incumbent is “one of us” and “somebody you can identify with.” I am glad that the voters of Greenwood, who have seen unemployment rise and the population leaving for some time, decide to say enough is enough and vote for who they felt was the best candidate out there.

Did the Lafayette County GOP Chair Support the Democrat Running For Mayor?

SaveTheGOP.com has been covering the Oxford mayoral election, where Democrat Pat Patterson defeated Republican Ken McCullough for the post being vacated by Democrat Richard Howorth.

Check out their website where they have a picture of a yard with Patterson yard signs and claim they belong to Lew Yonder, who serves as Lafayette County Chairman for the GOP. That is disturbing if it is true.

Coming Soon To Flowood: Liquor By The Glass

While Rankin county has defeated proposals to make the county “wet” to liquor in the past, voters in Flowood overwhelmingly approved the sales of wine and liquor by the glass in reaturants. This measure was supported by both the mayor and business groups who said it will help the city’s economy by luring development that may have otherwise chose to locate somewhere else.

Republicans Stay Strong In Desoto County

Not that anyone was expecting much of a challenge to the Republicans running for mayor in Hernando, Horn Lake, Olive Branch, or Southaven; but I am glad to see that the GOP numbers do not appear to be shrinking in the suburban Memphis county which has been a Republican stronghold before it was cool to be Republican in Mississippi.

Many suburbs are experiencing demographic shifts as more minorities and transplants from the North, Midwest, or West may be moving in. That does not appear to be having much of an effect on Desoto County politics-wise.

Democrats Continue To Dominate Rural Areas

Much like county offices, Democrats still have the upper hand when it comes to local offices in many small towns that have not voted for a Democrat in a presidential election since Jimmy Carter. Obviously, it helps to have a 120 plus year head start on the other party, and I understand that a Democrat mayor in Booneville may have a different perspective on things than the Democrat president, but the GOP has some work to do.

While the GOP has been effective in building the party to win statewide elections and the legislature (to a certain degree), they still have work to do when it comes to city and county offices.

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