Elections

New aldermen to step up in O.S.; Chic Cody in runoff

Ocean Springs Ward 1 incumbent Alderman John Gill waves to voters heading to the polls from a safe distance of 150 feet or more from the voting precincts, as required by law.
Ocean Springs Ward 1 incumbent Alderman John Gill waves to voters heading to the polls from a safe distance of 150 feet or more from the voting precincts, as required by law.

Correction: In Tuesday's ongoing election coverage online, the Ward 1 results were stated incorrectly online for less than an hour. This story has the correct results.

OCEAN SPRINGS -- Voters started the process Tuesday night of electing two new aldermen, while two incumbents fought for their seats in the Republican primary.

Heather Eason and Rickey Authement faced off in Ward 2 for the seat Matt McDonnell is vacating.

In unofficial totals, Authement, who also chairs the city’s Planning Commission, took the ward by 32 votes over Eason.

Authement ran on key issues such as downtown parking, the homeless and attracting businesses to U.S. 90 east. He will face Democrat Michael Pleasant in the June 6 general election.

“People are ready for new energy,” Eason told the Sun Herald before the polls closed. “They want someone who’s accessible.”

Ken Papania took the Ward 4 primary over Tommy Reynolds Jr. Ward 4 Alderman Greg Denyer is stepping down.

Papania, the city’s representative on the Jackson County Utility Authority and a founding member of the city Economic Development Commission, took the primary with 64 percent of the vote over Reynolds. Papania will face Democrat Elizabeth Feder-Hosey in the general.

Ward 1 Alderman John Gill, a 32-year incumbent, took the primary from challenger Bob Briggs, a Biloxi attorney who ran on the platform that Gill was one of the “Psycamore Four” aldermen who voted to deny the psychiatric clinic an office on Iberville Drive. It’s a move that cost the city between $700,000 and $1 million in attorney fees and other costs. Gill said it was an unfortunate situation.

“You’d be surprised how many people are irritated by that,” Briggs told the Sun Herald. Gill will face Democrat Roxanne Samies in June.

Ward 3 incumbent Chic Cody will face Joseph Bellman Jr. in a May 16 runoff. The two were neck and neck Tuesday. Also in the primary was insurance agency owner Ken Foley. There are no Democrats so the runoff will determine the new Ward 3 alderman.

Races

Total votes

Percentage

Ward 1, Republican

  

John Gill (I)

205

56%

Robert “Bob” Briggs

160

44%

Ward 2, Republican

  

Heather Eason

319

48%

Ricky Authement

351

52%

Ward 3, Republican

  

Chic Cody

158

47%

Joseph Bellman Jr.

146

43%

Ken Foley

37

10%

Ward 4, Republican

  

Ken Papania

259

64%

Tommy Reynolds Jr.

143

36%

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