A change in leadership is coming for Farmington.

A political newcomer, Reece Wallin, unseated the four-term incumbent mayor, Dale Fortenberry, in a vote of 163 to 133, and the five-member Board of Aldermen will see a shuffle with three new members.

Ricky Gibens, who wears the hat of county fire coordinator, among other hats, led the field for alderman with 175 and will be new to the board. Also making the cut are incumbent Johnny Potts, 171; incumbent Jeff Patterson, 155; newcomer Shane Bridges, 152; and newcomer Tammy Philamlee, 145.

Falling short were incumbent Luther Rhodes, 141; incumbent Lowell Gann, 135; incumbent Shane Harvell, 104; and Benson Skelton, 82.

With one term as alderman before winning the mayor’s office, Fortenberry will leave the government of Farmington after 20 years. His time has included the development of the park and walking trail, expansion of sewer service and renovation of the City Hall.

“I want to personally thank Dale Fortenberry for his years of service to the City of Farmington,” Wallin told the Daily Corinthian. “He’s helped the city a lot.”

Wallin and his wife returned to Farmington after his retirement in 2014. Among his experience, he worked as a chief financial officer with an organization in Bowling Green, Kentucky, that provided mental health and substance abuse services to multiple counties. Most recently, he served as an IT director in construction in Kentucky.

Wallin said his goals are to have “an open and honest and transparent government” that focuses on and serves the citizens. He also plans to work to recruit new business to the city.

“I’ve got a lot of experience with trying to build businesses and things of that nature,” he said.

Municipal Clerk Debora Jackson said the election had a pretty good turnout with 304 votes, or about 30 percent of the town’s registered voters.

All of Farmington’s candidates ran as Republicans, leaving Tuesday’s primary to settle the contests.

The new term of office will begin July 1.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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