OKOLONA – Okolona’s race for mayor came down to the wire, with absentee ballots determing the winner in a close contest.
At the close of voting, former Mayor Sherman Carouthers led incumbent Mayor Louise Cole, 455-450, but once absentees and affadavits were counted and certified, Cole had retained her seat by a margin of 507-477.
In Ward One, incumbent Kenneth McVay won over Leander Wilson, 96-56, and incumbent Bennett Moore won over challenger Judy Nicholes, 115-41.
Former Councilman Mary Gates reclaimed the seat in Ward Five over Robert “Matt” Hughes, 96-84.
Anthony Floyd retained his seat in Ward Six uncontested as did Eldridge Lowe in Ward Three.
A run-off will be needed in Ward Four as neither of the top two challengers, Regina Pickens nor Teresa Price gained a 50 percent majority. Imogene Armstrong led in votes but will not be listed on the ballot at the General Election. Armstrong was a member of the Democratic Executive Committee when she qualified as a candidate for Ward Four and did not resign her position on the committee by the January 1, 2013 deadline. Juanita Head of the committee said Armstrong and the committee tried to resolve the issue, but the deadline was not flexible.
“It all came back to the fact of the January 1 deadline,” Head said.
Mississippi State Code 23-15-217 does not allow a member of the Executive Committee to run for office until that person has resigned from the committee.
Pickens and Price will be on the ballot for General Election June 4.
In the City Marshal’s race, incumbent Tommie Ivy, Sr., was defeated by challenger Willie C. Moore, 529-458.