How the municipal elections will determine the next administrations
Published 8:00 pm Friday, March 5, 2021
Some of the upcoming municipal elections will be decided in the primaries in April while others will be decided by the general election in June.
In some of the races in Picayune and Poplarville, all of the candidates for a seat are from the same political party, so the candidate who wins the primary will run unopposed in the general election. Other municipal races have candidates from more than one party, so those races will be decided in the general election.
In the primary elections voters can choose to either cast a ballot in the Republican or Democratic primary. They cannot cast a ballot in both primaries.
Candidates have to receive 50 percent plus one vote to move on to the general election. If no candidate in a race achieves this, a runoff will be held.
Picayune’s mayoral race has three candidates. Two of those candidates are running as Republicans, Jim Luke and Tammy Valente. One is running as a Democrat, Leaverne Guy.
If Picayune voters choose to participate in the Republican primary they can decide to send Luke or Valente on to the general election. Guy will be unopposed in the Democratic primary election, so should go on to the general election where he will run against the winner of the Republican primary.
Some polling locations for Picayune’s municipal elections are different than the polling locations for county elections, said City Clerk Amber Hinton, which can sometimes cause confusion for voters. Both the municipal and county polling locations should be listed on a voter’s voter registration card.
Both city council candidates in Precinct 1 are Republicans, Anna Turnage and Antha Mitchell, so voters in Precinct 1 who want to choose between the two candidates can do so by voting in the Republican primary. The winning candidate will run unopposed in the general election. The Precinct 1 polling location is Fire Station #1, 233 Adcox Rd.
There are no Republican candidates in Precinct 2. There is one independent candidate, Lynn Bumpers, who will go straight to the general election.
Precinct 2 voters who decide to cast a ballot in the Democratic primary will be able to choose between Dimitri Johnson and Terilyn Griffith. The winning candidate will run against Bumpers in the general election. The Precinct 2 polling location is First United Methodist, 323 N. Haugh Ave.
There is one Republican candidate, Jan Stevens, and one Democratic candidate, David Fred Smith, in Precinct 3, so each candidate will run unopposed in their respective primaries. The race between them will be decided in the general election. The Precinct 3 polling location is the National Guard Armory, 1300 Highway 11 S.
There are two Democratic City Council candidates for Precinct 4, Larry Breland and Vernon Robinson, so voters in the Democratic primary will be able to choose between them. The winner will run unopposed in the general election. The Precinct 4 polling location is South Side Elementary, 400 S. Beech St.
There are no Democratic candidates in Precinct 5. There are three Republican candidates, Frank Ford, Larry Cagle and Robert May, so the race between them will be decided in the Republican primary. The winner will run unopposed in the general election. The Precinct 5 polling location is the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library, 900 Goodyear Blvd.
There are only Republican candidates in Poplarville’s mayoral race, Linda Eades Hawkins, Laura “Heather” Holliday and Louise Smith. Voters who cast a ballot in the Republican primary will be able to choose between them. The winner of the Republican primary will run unopposed for mayor in the general election.
Poplarville’s Aldermen run at large instead of by precincts and there are five seats on the Board of Aldermen.
There are five Republican candidates for Alderman, Daniel H. Brown, Russell Miller, Bobby Nestle, Anne Gendusa Smith and Byron L. Wells, so all five should go on to the general election.
There is one Democratic candidate for Alderman, Kevin L. Tillman, Sr., so he should go on to the general election.
In the general election, all six candidates will run against each other for the five open seats.
For municipal elections, Poplarville voters can cast their ballots at Poplarville’s City Hall.
Run off elections
The two races most likely to have a primary run off are the Republican primary for Picayune’s Precinct 5 city council seat and the Republican primary for Poplarville’s mayor. In each of these races, three candidates from one party are vying for one seat.
If there is a primary run off election, voters who either did not cast a ballot in the primary or those who voted in the Republican will be able to vote in the runoff. So, if a voter cast a ballot in the Democratic primary, that voter will be unable to participate in the Republican runoff.
The primary election will be April 6, the runoff for the primary election, if needed, will be April 27 and the general election will be June 8. Winning candidates will take office in July. Voters must be registered by March 8 to vote in the primary or by May 10 to vote in the general election. The voter registration deadline for any potential primary runoff election is April 27. On election days, polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Picayune residents can register to vote at the City Clerk’s office in City Hall or at the Pearl River County Circuit Clerk’s office. City Hall hours are 8 to 5, Monday through Friday. Picayune’s City Hall will be open for extended hours for voter registration on March 6 and May 8, from 8 a.m. to noon.
Absentee voting for the primary election has already begun. The deadline for in person absentee voting for the primary is April 3.
Absentee ballots that are mailed have to be postmarked on or before election day and received by the municipal clerk’s office within five business days.
To request an absentee ballot in Picayune, contact the City Clerk’s office at 601-799-5544.