OCEAN SPRINGS -- Jackson County welcomed another new face to its five-member Board of Supervisors on Tuesday as Randy Bosarge swept District 5. West Jackson County returned Troy Ross to his seat for a second term.
Bosarge beat two independents and joins Gautier's Ken Taylor as the two new men on the board. Both beat longtime incumbents by promising new leadership, especially on the issues of the county hospital's financial crisis and its failing pension plan.
Ross said the Singing River Health System failures created "a negative cloud and that's a bad thing for an incumbent. It made us put our nose down and work even harder."
Republicans Ross and Bosarge carried every precinct in their races.
Ross took District 4 with 2,608 votes to independent David J. Venus IV's 1,099 and Democrat Sean Alawine's 688.
Bosarge garnered 76 percent of the vote -- 3,645 to Allen Williams' 704 and Jeffrey Knight's 425. Looking ahead, Bosarge said, "I want to get familiar with all the ongoing projects in the county as fast as I can, get the hospital situation taken care of and then start working for the citizens, start seeing what else needs to be done.
"I'm just humbled that the citizens voted for me," he said, "that they had the trust and voted for me."
Ross said it was a long campaign. He was pleased that he won 59 percent of the vote.
"It has been a heck of a year," he said. "I know one thing, I was glad when it was 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 3 (and the polls were closed)."
He thanked his opponents for running clean campaigns.
Ross said his first priority will be to resolve the county hospital issues, and that includes saving the employee pension plan.
"You can't fix the system with (the pension) hanging out there," he said.
He said his district will see action next year on the Old Fort Bayou Road project and on Cook Road.
"A lot of promises were made during campaigns across the county," Ross said, "so the whole board will have a lot of work to do to deliver on those promises."