Two incumbents defeated, runoff for mayor and Ward 4

By JAMIE PATTERSON,
A Democratic primary runoff election will be held for the city’s mayoral and Ward 4 posts.
Voters will return to the polls Feb. 27 to determine the Democratic primary winner between mayoral candidates, the incumbent Diane Delaware and Joseph Thomas Jr.; and Ward 4 aldermen candidates, the incumbent Aubry Brent Jr. and Joe Freeman. 
Two incumbent aldermen lost their seats during this week’s primary election with Aldermen Dr. Jack Varner and Gregory Robertson both losing to their challengers. 
Ardis Russell, a member of the Democratic Election Commission, said voter turnout in this year’s municipal election was down. He said city-wide elections typically attract a little over 2,000 voters. However, that number was down in this year’s election. 
According to Yazoo County Circuit Clerk Robert Coleman, there are 8,674 active registered voters in Yazoo City. In Tuesday’s elections, only 1,859 voted. 
With five candidates vying for the mayoral seat, Delaware and Thomas garnered enough votes to head into a runoff. Delaware earned a total of 702 votes, 37.76 percent, and Thomas earned a total of 595 votes, 32.01 percent. 
The other runoff election will include Ward 4 with Brent earning a total of 193 votes, 39.31 percent, and Freeman earning a total of 135 votes, 27.49 percent. 
Within Ward 2, incumbent Varner lost to challenger Andre Lloyd by 19 votes. Lloyd had a total of 255 votes, 51.83 percent, to Varner’s 236 total votes, 47.97 percent. 
Within Ward 3, incumbent Robertson lost to challenger Sir Johnathan Rucker by 114 votes. Rucker had a total of 226 votes, 52.07 percent, to Robertson’s had a total of 112 votes, 25.81 percent. 
With no opposition, Ward 1 Alderman Ron Johnson will remain in his seat. 
Russell added that all votes, including affidavit, have been accounted. 
Russell said the election ran very smoothly with only a few issues, which were corrected quickly. He said two machines did go down, but they were soon back up thanks to a voting mechanic on hand. 
“Considering the complexity of the election, which most aren’t aware of, I think everything went extremely well,” Russell said. “Our poll workers are the best in the state. We had hospitality from the city clerk’s office and extreme backup from the Yazoo County circuit clerk.”
Russell said there may be a few who would like to revisit the boxes, but no official challenges have been declared. 
The runoff election will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 27, with polls opened from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Voting precincts include Ward 1 at the Yazoo City Community Complex, the former junior high school; Ward 2, the Teen Center; Ward 3, the Washington Street fire station; and Ward 4, the L.T. Miller Community Center. 
The winner of the mayoral primary will face independent Theodis Freeman in the general election on April 2.