Election preview for House Dist. seat 102 runoff

Election preview for House Dist. seat 102 runoff
Kathryn Rehner
Kathryn Rehner
Missy McGee
Missy McGee

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The race for House District 102 seat is headed to a runoff, and voters in Forrest in Lamar Counties will head back to the polls on Tuesday, October 3rd.

Candidates Missy McGee and Kathryn Rehner will face off, each looking for their spot at the state capitol.

In the September special election, McGee had approximately 45 percent of the vote with 1,475 votes, and Rehner had 24 percent of the vote with 807 votes.

"The District 102 seat holds a lot of importance when it comes to major policy issues that affect Hattiesburg and also funding streams, whether it's in appropriation to a program that is in the city or the university or whether it's a special project that we as a city are going after," said Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker. "The District 102 seat that's the main piece in terms of trying to get things done in the House."

For those heading to the poles on Tuesday, one thing to remember, voters will go to their county precincts.

"When you come vote tomorrow, you need to bring a picture ID, you have to have some type of photo ID to be able to vote," said Forrest County Circuit Clerk Gwen Wilks.

Mayor Barker said with the importance of the seat, everyone that is able and in the district, should vote.

"This seat is important, this is our voice in Jackson, we need to make sure that there is someone there who can be effective, so I encourage everyone just to go out and vote, don't take it for granted, don't assume that you know what's going to happen, go out, show up and vote," said Barker.

WDAM spoke to both candidates following the initial election in September.

McGee said after the Special Election, she's looking forward to the extra time going into the runoff.

"Well we woke up this morning hitting the ground running working hard to just go back out to the neighborhoods, and see the folks in district 102,"  McGee said. "I'm real excited about continuing the dialog about what is best for this district and just looking forward to working hard the next three weeks."

Rehner said she's also excited, and thrilled to be in the runoff.

"We have a lot to be proud of, I feel blessed and overwhelmed by all the people in the community that have come out and support me and they have come out with support and really big ways," Rehner said. "By donating their time in and energy to knock on doors and make phone calls and be a part of this process, so I am grateful, grateful for everybody that came out and voted."

Both candidates are looking for change, and to make the Hub City a better place.

"I decided to run for this because Hattiesburg is my life-long home, I love this city, I'm committed to it and we believe there is a new sense of optimism in Hattiesburg," McGee said. "I wanted to do my part in moving it forward so we can reach the potential that we know we have here.

"This is a movement, we're creating a movement we're creating a process for change in Mississippi and if real change is going to come then we have to have people that are committed to that process, and we do, we just need to rally more folks and do it in a bigger way over the next three weeks."

Rehner and McGee said they know the next three weeks will be busy, but they're ready for the challenge.

"My goal is to continue to do what we've done which is to put people first, in district 102," Rehner said. "People are what matters, as a public servant it is my job to represent the community that I serve and I can only do that if I know and am exposed to and live lives with people.

"What I've been telling people, those who have come out to support me, I've asked them, get me five more votes, find me five friends that you have that are in your circles that you know would support and believe in what we're doing and that makes a huge difference."

"We're not taking anything for granted, like I said, we're going to hit the ground running, and go out and meet the folks and work hard and earn the support of the people of district 102 that I look forward to representing at the state capitol," said McGee.