After a one-day delay to count affidavit ballots for Tuesday’s primary election, Tony Ducker has been elected as the next mayor for the City of Petal.
Final but unofficial results show Ducker received 831 votes, just above the necessary 50% of the vote plus one to avoid a runoff election. Because all candidates in Petal ran as Republicans in the primary election, candidates who run in the upcoming general election will face no competition.
“It feels good, when you put in a lot of work like we did,” said Ducker, who currently represents Ward 5 on the Petal Board of Aldermen. “We had a team in place to get the message out, and we’re so appreciative of the overwhelming support we had.
“Having a team like we did, that’s really the only way we were able to tackle such a big task.”
At the end of the election, Ducker had received 814 votes, but did not garner the needed 50% plus one until 52 affidavit ballots were counted late the next afternoon. Ducker – who will take over for retiring Mayor Hal Marx – will be sworn in July 1, along with the members of the board.
“(First off) is to start interviewing personnel for key positions in the city,” Ducker said. “We want to make sure we’ve got the right people in the right spot.
“There’s some commitments we made on the campaign trail over the first hundred days, so we’re going to start working on that. The real work starts now – campaigning is fun, but the voters expect that you’re going to do what you said you’re going to do.”
Navy veteran Jake Wilson pulled in 366 votes in the mayoral election. Karen Underwood Hession received 262 votes and Jared Gould garnered 173.
Election results for the Petal Board of Aldermen are as follows:
Gerald Steele will serve as the new Ward 1 alderman, defeating opponent Bruce Ferguson 160 votes to 33. Steele, who is a teacher at Petal Primary School, will take over for the retiring David Clayton.
Steve Stringer, who ran unopposed in Tuesday’s election, will return as Ward 2 alderman. He received 291 votes, or 98%. Stringer, who was originally elected in 2001, is the owner of Locke Extermination and received his certification from the Mississippi Municipal League.
Ward 3 is headed for a runoff on April 27 between current alderman Clint Moore and opponent Blake Nobles. Nobles pulled in 121 votes, or 45%, while Moore received 111 votes, or 42%. Moore was first elected to the board in 2014.
A third candidate for Ward 3, Kelly Shone Polk, received 32 votes, or 12%.
Craig Strickland will serve as the new Ward 4 alderman, garnering 156 votes for 67%. He will take over for current alderman Brad Amacker, who did not seek re-election.
John Brady Amacker received 43 votes for 18%, while Daniel D. Warren received 33 votes for 14%.
Drew Brickson ran away with the Ward 5 election, pulling in 432 votes for 96%. Brickson, a military veteran, is the current recipient of the Bobby Runnels Leadership Award, the most prestigious award given by the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce.
Current Ward 6 Alderman Craig Bullock ran unopposed and will return for another term with 95 votes, good for 93%. He is a graduate of Petal High School and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from William Carey University.
Current At-Large Alderman Mike Lott ran unopposed and will return for another term. He was elected last year after former alderman William King retired from the board.
Republican Executive Committee
Mayor Hal Marx ran unopposed for the Republican Executive Committee, which is tasked with helping Republican candidates get on the ballot. Marx received 683 votes; 324 voters cast a write-in ballot.