Harrison County

Women prevail in Harrison County supervisor races, and other key offices decided

What’s it like being a woman in the world of South Mississippi politics?

The Harrison County Board of Supervisors was the first female-majority board in Mississippi. Connie Rockco, Angel Kibler-Middleton and Beverly Martin shared what it's like to be a woman in local politics.
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The Harrison County Board of Supervisors was the first female-majority board in Mississippi. Connie Rockco, Angel Kibler-Middleton and Beverly Martin shared what it's like to be a woman in local politics.

After 20 years in office, incumbent Connie Rockco coasted to another term, defeating Richard Todd Herrin in District 5, where he retired as assistant road manager to run for the job.

“I always believe that you never take your constituents for granted so you’ve got to get out and work and let them know you want the job one more time,” Rockco said. “I really love people and I think they know that . . .

“Maybe they’ll look back and say, ‘Connie did a lot for the Coast.’”

She said she wants to make sure the county keeps taxes as low as possible over the next four years and encourage economic development.

Rockco received 3,751 votes, or 63% to Herrin’s 2,200 votes. or 37%. She has no challenger in November.

In District 2, former WLOX-TV anchor and businesswoman Rebecca Powers defeated her challenger, businessman Shawn Petro.

Powers said she thinks she won because of “20 years of service and dedication to this community, especially with child advocacy” and exposing wrongs as a journalist.

She said that she plans to rest up and study hard before she takes office in January, paying close attention to the budget and past board action.

Powers captured 3,875 votes, or 74%, compared to 1,346 votes, or 26%, for Petro.

In the coroner’s race, Chief Deputy Coroner Brian Switzer will move up to replace retiring Coroner Gary Hargrove. Switzer defeated challenger Rosie Robertson with 15,629 votes, or 78%, to 4,372 votes, or 22%, for Robertson.

Results in other contested county races:

Harrison County Tax Assessor Paula Ladner defeated Tommy McAdams with 14,096 votes, or 69%, to 6,363, or 31%.

Harrison County Tax Collector David LaRosa Sr. won with 14,638 votes, or 70%, to 6,197 votes, or 30%, for Kelly Hartfield Griffin.

Chancery Clerk John McAdams defeated former Gulfport Councilman Brian Carriere, a repeat challenger, with 14,175 votes, or 69%, to 6,279 votes, or 31%.

In the Justice Court District 5 race, Nick Patano and Patrick K. Williams edged out two challengers and will face each other in a runoff, with Patano capturing 47% of the vote while Williams received 38%.

In the District 2 race for constable, Supervisor Angel Kibler-Middleton received 41% of the vote and will face former Gulfport Councilman Ricky Dombrowski in a runoff, receiving 41% of the vote to his 33%, with 26% for third-place finisher Michael W. Saucier.

Jeff Migues won the District 5 constable’s race with 66% of the vote to 34% for Colton Diamond.

Anita Lee is a Mississippi native who specializes in investigative, court and government reporting. She has covered South Mississippi’s biggest stories in her decades at the Sun Herald, including the Dixie Mafia, public corruption and Hurricane Katrina, a Pulitzer Prize-winning effort. Nothing upsets her more than government secrecy and seeing people suffer.
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