One more alderman race has been decided as Tara Green Lauderdale claimed Booneville’s Ward 1 seat in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff election.
Lauderdale defeated Lauren Ford Whitson by a vote of 215 to 123 in the runoff for Ward 1. Lauderdale wins the seat since there are no Democratic or Independent candidates seeking the office. Incumbent Ward 1 Alderman Jason Michael did not seek reelection.
“I’d just like to say thanks to all the voters in Ward 1. I appreciate everybody coming out. I know it’s hard to come out on a day like today when there’s only one thing on the ballot. I look forward to serving,” said Lauderdale.
Alan Prentiss won the Republican primary runoff for Ward 4 alderman with a vote of 99 to 82 over Christopher Kitchens. The race now moves to the general election with Republican nominee Prentiss facing independent candidate Carolyn Miller in the general election. Incumbent Ward 4 Alderman William Scott is not seeking reelection.
With the primary elections now complete, the slate is set for the June 8 general election where city voters will see four contested races on the ballot.
Contested races on the general election ballot are:
Mayor – Chris Lindley (Republican, incumbent) vs CJ McCoy (independent)
Alderman at Large – Derrick Blythe (independent) vs LaVaile Shields (Republican)
Alderman Ward 3 – Tai Grove (independent) vs Jimmy Clyde Hicks (Republican)
Alderman Ward 4 – Carolyn Miller (independent) vs Alan Prentiss (Republican)
New terms begin at the start of July.
Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson paid a visit to the polls on Tuesday and praised local election workers for their efforts to follow the law and ensure fair elections.
Watson said he was in the area for a meeting and took the opportunity to visit Booneville as he and his staff work to get out across the state to encourage election officials and the public and ensure all laws are being followed. He said staffers from his office could be found in numerous precincts across the state during Tuesday’s municipal primary runoffs.
“We try to be out in the public letting folks see we’re at the precincts making sure the election laws are followed and I think that’s an important piece of returning voter confidence. That’s what we’re seeing in Booneville,” he said.
The Secretary of State said he was glad to see Booneville’s use of paper ballots which were used for the second time this year during the primary runoff. He said currently approximately 53 percent of the state’s voters are using systems based on paper ballots which he believes is an important step toward more secure and confident elections.
Watson said he’s currently working with the state legislature on bond funding as well as with several federal programs to secure money to assist counties in transitioning to paper-based systems.