For the first time in 20 years, Hancock County District 4 will have a new supervisor who is new to politics.
Both candidates say their qualifications and experience make them the right person for the job.
"I am a public servant, not a politician," said Republican candidate Scotty Adam, 50. A facilities manager, he's been a volunteer with youth sports in the community for about 25 years, "and still am today," he said.
Democrat Maurice Singleton, 62, said his level of professional training and extensive management experience is what's needed to do the job.
"I bring balance, diversity of opinion," he said.
Anthony Pace has pulled out of the race, according to the county Circuit Clerk's Office.
When Supervisor Steve Seymour chose not to seek reelection after 20 years, it set up the race that will see the new supervisor dealing with challenges such as growing business and tourism and dealing with a high number of children in foster care. Hancock County has Mississippi's highest per-capita rate of children in state custody.
"We have to do what we can to make sure the parents are raising kids instead of the courts," Singleton said.
One of Hancock County's strongest points is the mix of people, he said.
"We have a lot of people from a variety of backgrounds," he said -- people who never left, people who have moved in, and people like him who were raised in Hancock County and returned.
He grew up in Bay St. Louis. After getting his degree in journalism at University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, he worked in Houston and Los Angeles for a decade before returning to the Coast on July 4, 1994. He published Mississippi Star magazine for five years and now sells advertising and is a writer.
"I always wanted to come home," he said. Now he wants to make sure District 4 and every area of the county get equal support and consideration, he said.
Adam said attracting more industry and well-paying jobs are his priorities and the reasons he wants to be supervisor.
"I just think we need to do whatever we can to draw some big companies, get some tax dollars here," he said. "We have a port and harbor facility that has plenty of space."
Many other Interstate 10 interchanges have development, but not around Mississippi 603 in District 4, and he wants to see that change.
The county also needs more family attractions, he said, and a baseball complex is under construction. But without nearby places to stay and things for the kids to do, "I don't think it will reach its full potential," he said.
Both candidates said now is the time for them to run for supervisor.
"I just decided I wanted to try to make a difference in Hancock County and make it a place where people want to come," Adam said.
"I thought the timing was perfect. It just seemed like good things were going on," Singleton said.
Schools are doing well and businesses are starting up, he said, and he wants to be part of the growth in Hancock County.